How is National Origin Discrimination Different from Race Discrimination?

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Two of the most common types of workplace discrimination are race discrimination and national origin discrimination. While both types of discrimination share some similarities, they also have some features that distinguish them from one another. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Chesterfield County employment discrimination lawyer from Passero Employment Law to learn more about the difference between the two and how we can help if you are a victim of either. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is national origin discrimination?

National origin discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or a job applicant unfavorably because of their country of origin, ancestry, ethnicity, culture, accent, or language. For example, an employer may refuse to hire or promote a person because they are from a foreign country, have a foreign-sounding surname, speak with a different accent, or wear different clothing.

If your employer asked you about your national origin during the hiring process, harassed you (either “jokingly” or in a more intimidating manner) due to your national origin, thereby creating a hostile work environment, paid you less than other employees, or otherwise discriminated against you because of your national origin, there is a strong chance you may have a valid discrimination claim against your employer.

What is race discrimination?

Race discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or a job applicant unfavorably because of their race or physical characteristics associated with their race. Race discrimination can come in several forms, but most frequently, we see race discrimination take the form of harassment, racially insensitive “jokes,” refusing to hire certain employees because of their race, terminating employees because of their race, or paying employees of certain racial backgrounds less than other employees.

What can I do if I’m a victim of race or national origin discrimination?

Though national origin discrimination and race discrimination are different from one another, the remedy is very much the same. You are protected from national origin and racial discrimination under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Virginia Human Rights Act. Therefore, if you’ve tried to stop the discrimination internally, such as by speaking with HR, but to no avail, or your company doesn’t have an HR department and your employer is the one discriminating against you, you should speak with an attorney who can help you pursue a claim against your employer. Contact Passero Employment Law for help today.

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