National Origin Discrimination at Work Claim in Florida

example of national origin discrimination at work

America has been called a melting pot because of the way our population derives from many nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures. Still, some employers treat certain individuals unfavorably because of their country of origin.

If you have been treated unfairly by an employer or prospective employer because of your ethnicity or country of origin, you might be entitled to pursue compensation and legal relief. A Tallahassee national origin discrimination lawyer with Cruz Law Firm, P.A., can help you understand your rights.

Ourattorneys put nearly two decades of combined legal experience behind our advocacy for hardworking people like you. We have taken numerous cases to trial and have worked in state and federal courts across Florida. Our seasoned litigators are prepared to hold employers accountable for national origin discrimination and seek justice for you.

Act now to put an end to the discrimination you – and likely others – have suffered. Contact Cruz Law for an evaluation of your claim by a Tallahassee national origin discrimination attorney. We are eager to learn more about your situation and stand with you for what’s right.

Understanding National Origin Discrimination

National origin discrimination in the workplace involves treating job applicants or employees unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because they are perceived to be of a certain ethnic background.

National origin discrimination also can involve treating people unfavorably because they are married to a person of a certain national origin.

It is unlawful to harass a person because of his or her national origin. Harassment can include, for example, offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s national origin, accent, or ethnicity.

Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or results in an adverse employment decision, such as the victim being fired or demoted. Simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious are not illegal harassment.

Identifying the Signs of National Origin Discrimination

We urge you to contact Cruz Law if you believe you have been subjected to discriminatory treatment at work based on your or a loved one’s national origin or ethnicity. We want to hear your story and help you.

Acts that may constitute national origin discrimination when directed at certain individuals include:

  • Refusing to hire qualified applicants or firing certain employees solely because of their national origin or because they speak with an accent
  • Rejecting work authorization documents from applicants of certain national origins
  • Paying an employee less than coworkers with the same position or responsibilities based on their national origin
  • Continually assigning an employee undesirable tasks or denying them opportunities or resources
  • Excluding an employee from training programs or professional development opportunities
  • Holding an employee to standards that differ from what’s expected of other employees
  • Requiring employees to speak only English on the job when it is not necessary to ensure the safe or efficient operation of the employer’s business
  • Disparate disciplinary measures directed at a certain employee
  • Harassment directed at a specific employee or creation of a hostile work environment.

Employment Actions Indicating Discrimination Based on National Origin

Federal law forbids national origin discrimination or harassment when it comes to any aspect of employment, including:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Pay
  • Job assignments
  • Promotions
  • Layoffs
  • Training
  • Fringe benefits.

How the Law Protects You

State and federal laws protect workers in Florida from employment discrimination based on the worker’s national origin. The broadest protections are provided by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA).

The laws establish several protected classes and make it illegal to discriminate in employment and other matters on the basis of characteristics such as national origin, race, color, marriage, or civil partnership(with someone of a specific national origin, among other reasons.

If you have been subjected to discrimination based on your national origin, ethnicity, race, or color at a Florida place of employment, a workplace discrimination attorney can help you file a claim with the proper state or federal agency:

  • Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if the employer has 15 or more employees
  • S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, Office of Special Counsel if the employer has 4 to 14 employees
  • S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section about a state or local government employer with a pattern or practice of illegal discrimination.

Steps To Take When Facing Discrimination

Unless you have an equal pay claim, you must file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC or DOJ before you can file a job discrimination lawsuit against your employer. While the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) enforces the state’s employment discrimination laws, in most cases, instead of filing an employment discrimination charge with each agency, you can indicate that you want to cross-file your charge with the other agency.

The appropriate federal agency will investigate your complaint and seek a settlement that makes things right for you and ends discrimination by the employer. The agency’s objective will be to put you in the same or similar position you would have been in if the discrimination had not occurred. For example, if you were not selected for a job or a promotion because of discrimination, the remedy may include job placement, back pay, and benefits.

Types of Compensation Available for National Origin Discrimination in Employment

In addition to requiring the employer to stop its discriminatory practices and take steps to prevent discrimination in the future, the EEOC may award compensatory and punitive damages in cases involving intentional discrimination based on national origin.

Compensatory damages may cover job search costs or medical expenses and pay for any mental anguish or inconvenience you have suffered. Punitive damages are awarded to punish an employer who has committed an especially malicious or reckless act of discrimination.

There are limits to the amount of compensatory and punitive damages a person can recover based on the size of the employer:

  • For employers with 15-100 employees, the limit is $50,000.
  • For employers with 101-200 employees, the limit is $100,000.
  • For employers with 201-500 employees, the limit is $200,000.
  • For employers with more than 500 employees, the limit is $300,000.

Talk to Our Seasoned Tallahassee Ethnic Discrimination Lawyers Today

Don’t wait another minute to demand accountability for illegal employment discrimination you have suffered in Northern Florida. The Cruz Law Firm of Tallahassee, FL, is committed to fighting national origin discrimination on behalf of workers like you.

Contact Cruz Law today for a confidential consultation with a national origin discrimination attorney. Our experienced employment lawyers handle employment discrimination cases in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, and throughout the Florida Panhandle.