National origin discrimination is a problem in some work environments. Some individuals may be singled out and treated less favorably than others based on their presumed national origin, accent or apparent ethnicity.
Sometimes people who aren’t of a specific nationality may find themselves treated less desirably because they have married or become involved with someone from a particular national origin.
It’s strictly against the law to discriminate against a person based upon their ethnic or national origin. Thus, a person cannot be fired, paid less, assigned lesser jobs or furloughed simply because of their national origin. They can’t be denied employment, a promotion or fringe benefits due to their nationality either.
Harassment is another form of discrimination. It’s unlawful if an employer or colleague singles out a worker and treats them poorly just because of their national origin. Types of harassment can include derogatory or offensive comments based on someone’s accent, ethnicity or national origin. Harassment beyond simple teasing becomes illegal objectionable behavior when it’s so frequent and prevalent that it creates a hostile work environment.
The source of harassment can come from many different places. Harassers can come from supervisors, co-workers or even clients or customers. It’s illegal to discriminate against someone based on their citizenship or immigration status per the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).
Many employers here in Charleston and throughout the Mountain State engage in discrimination and harassment because they don’t think that they’ll get caught. You need to stand up for yourself and others and hold them accountable for their illegal actions, though!
If you have been the victim of national origin discrimination in your work environment, you may be entitled to lost wages and other monetary damages per West Virginia and federal law. An attorney can help you build your Charleston case against your employer.