Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as Ohio’s anti-discrimination laws (Ohio R.C. § 4112.99) make it illegal for employers to discriminate in any employment practices because an employee originates from a particular country or part of the world, or because an employee appears to come from a particular ethnic background. But what does this mean? Let’s break this down.
Under Title VII and similar Ohio laws, the term “employment decision,” includes recruitment, hiring, and firing or layoffs, based on national origin.
“Harassment” under these anti-discrimination laws means any offensive conduct that creates a hostile work environment based on national origin. Such conduct includes ethnic slurs or even Americanizing workers’ names. Harassment obviously can come from managers, but employers are also required to take immediate appropriate actions to correct unlawful national origin harassment.
A big issue in national origin discrimination cases is language based discrimination. Again, both Title VII and Ohio’s anti-discrimination laws make it unlawful for an employer to base employment decisions on an employee’s foreign accent except if the employer can show that the accent materially interferes with the employee’s job performance. Likewise, an employer cannot lawfully mandate an English fluency requirement except if the employer can show that such a requirement in necessary to ensure the effective performance of the specific position for which the fluency requirement is mandated. And, English-only rules may only be imposed if necessary to promote the safe or efficient operation of the employer’s business. Implicit in the above, is that English-only, accent, and fluency requirements can only be adopted for nondiscriminatory reasons. A high burden is placed on the employer in each case to prove that its rules fall within the exception.
If you feel that your employer is discriminating against you based on your national origin (Mexican, Puerto Rican, Asian or even American), you may have a legal claim. To find out if you have a legal claim for national origin discrimination, your best option is to call the right attorney at 866-797-6040 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, you will meet with a national origin discrimination attorney, who will be able to tell you what your legal rights are and the best way to protect them.
The materials available at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. It is best contact an Ohio religious discrimination lawyer to obtain advice with respect to sexual harassment /hostile work environment questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm or any individual attorney.