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What is national origin discrimination?

People move to Texas from all around the world and contribute to the culture and economy in different ways. When an employer discriminates against a person just because they come from another country, this is called national origin discrimination.

National origin discrimination is illegal

National origin discrimination is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the law applies to all employers that have at least 15 employees. Discrimination that is based on a person’s birth country, regardless of what country that is, would be considered national origin discrimination. It is also illegal to discriminate against an individual’s:

• Ancestry
• Culture
• Accent
• Linguistic characteristics

Religious discrimination, which is also illegal, sometimes overlaps with national origin discrimination when discriminatory employers make assumptions about a person’s cultural and religious background. This type of workplace discrimination is unlawful.

Assumptions can also be discrimination

If an employer discriminates against a US-born person because of their physical or cultural traits, this may also be considered national origin discrimination. For example, if an employer does not hire an individual because they dress in African-style clothing, this is illegal discrimination. Employers are also barred from discriminating against employees because they are married to or otherwise connected to people from other countries.

Harassment is discrimination

Under Title VII, employment discrimination is illegal during all stages of the employment process including hiring, firing, and promotions. An employer that hires an individual and then harasses them at work about their national origin or perceived national origin could be sued for discrimination. Outright discriminatory comments and frequent subtle digs about national origin could be considered discriminatory harassment.