What is National Origin Discrimination?

Posted by Matthew Moosbrugger | Sep 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

Generally, national origin discrimination means discrimination because an individual (or his or her ancestors) is from a certain place or has the physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics of a particular national origin group. National origin discrimination often overlaps with race, color, or religious discrimination because a national origin group may be associated or perceived to be associated with a particular religion or race.

Employment discrimination against members of a national origin group includes discrimination based on:

  • Ethnicity: Employment discrimination because of a person's ethnicity as defined above, for example, discrimination against someone because he is Hispanic. National origin discrimination also includes discrimination against a person because she does not belong to a particular ethnic group, such as less favorable treatment of employees who are not
  • Physical, linguistic, or cultural traits: Employment discrimination against an individual because she has physical, linguistic, and/or cultural characteristics closely associated with a national origin group. For example, subjecting an individual to an adverse employment action because of her African-sounding accent or traditional African style of dress could constitute discrimination based on African origin.

Employment discrimination based on place of origin or national origin (ethnic) group includes discrimination involving:

  • Perception: Employment discrimination based on the belief that an individual (or her ancestors) is from one or more particular countries or belongs to one or more particular national origin groups. For example, Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on the perception that someone is from the Middle East or is of Arab ethnicity, regardless of how she identifies herself or whether she is, in fact, from one or more Middle Eastern countries or ethnically Arab.
  • Association: Employment discrimination against an individual because of his association with someone of a particular national origin. For example, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because he is married to or has a child with someone of a different national origin or ethnicity.
  • Citizenship status: Employment discrimination based on citizenship status if it has the purpose or effect of discriminating based on national origin.

Finally, employment discrimination because an individual is Native American or a member of a particular tribe is also considered discrimination based on national origin.

If you think you have been discriminated against based on your national origin, contact Moosbrugger Law for a free consultation.

About the Author

Matthew Moosbrugger

Matthew is an Arizona based employment attorney who specializes in civil litigation and civil rights employment law matters. Matthew is a strong advocate for his clients in all matters and regularly represents clients in civil litigation matters such as contract disputes, business litigation, and real estate matters, in addition to employment discrimination and workplace harassment cases.


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