Facts ABOUT NATIONAL ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT
Generally, national origin
discrimination is treating a person differently because that individual
(or his or her ancestors) is from a certain place or belongs to a
particular national origin group.
A “national origin group”, often referred to as “ethnic group”,
is a group of people sharing a common language, culture, ancestry,
and/or other similar social characteristics.
Sometimes, national origin overlaps race/color and religious
discrimination, and in such cases, the category for the basis of a
complaint would be each basis that applies.
Employment discrimination against a national origin group includes
discrimination based on:
– for example, discrimination against someone because he is Arab.
Take note that national origin discrimination also includes
treating someone less favorably because they
do not belong to a particular
Association with a Protected Individual
– means discrimination based on an individual’s marriage or association
with someone of a particular national origin group; membership or
association with specific ethnic promotions groups; attendance or
participation in schools, churches, temples or mosques generally
associated with a national origin group; or a surname associated with a
national origin group; for example, discrimination against an individual
who is married to someone of Middle Eastern origin.
– means discrimination based on the employer’s belief that a person is a
member of a particular national origin group, e.g., due to the persons
speech, mannerisms and appearance, regardless of how that person
Physical, linguistic, or cultural traits
– discrimination against an individual because of their physical,
linguistic and/or cultural characteristics closely associated with a
national origin group; for example, because of a traditional African or
East Indian style of dress.
– means discrimination on the basis of accent, manner of speaking, or
language fluency. An
employer may not base employment decision on one’s accent or English
fluency, unless the accent or lack of English materially interferes with
In the case of "speak English only" in
the workplace, an employer may have a rule requiring that employees
speak only in English at certain times where it can be shown that the
rule is justified by business necessity and/or if it is needed to
promote the safe or efficient operation of the employer’s business.
– means discrimination due to the requirement for multilingual employees
to perform more work than unilingual colleagues without additional
Citizenship/Coverage of Foreign Nationals
– anti-discrimination laws protect all employees who work in the United
States for covered employers, regardless of citizenship; however, relief
may be limited if an individual does not have legal authorization to
work in the United States.
Of special note, harassment on the basis of one’s national origin is
Ethnic slurs and other verbal
or physical conduct relating to an individual’s national origin
constitute harassment when this conduct:
creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment;
unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance; or
otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.
An employer may be
responsible for acts of harassment between fellow employees, and those
acts committed by non-employees.
(For example, a non-employee may be a vendor.)
With respect to harassment by non-employees, please note that
review of these complaints will take into consideration the employer’s
control and any other legal responsibility which the employer may have
with respect to these non-employee individuals.
For additional information and for assistance with sorting out your
potential workplace issues, please contact –
The Office of Human Relations
400 S. Orange Ave., 2nd Floor
Orlando, FL 32801
407.246.2122 (Main), 407.246.2308 (Fax)
The staff is very knowledgeable in
dealing with these matters and they provide quality customer service for