Discrimination based on national origin refers to treating an individual or a group unfavorably because of their actual or perceived country of birth, ethnicity, or accent. It also encompasses discrimination against someone who is in any way associated with people of a particular origin.
Minnesota National Origin Discrimination Attorney
As a civil rights attorney, I have won precedent-setting cases involving national origin discrimination in the workplace. If you have questions about this complex area of law, please consider scheduling a consultation or starting a free case review today.
What laws prohibit national origin discrimination?
Federal law bars national origin discrimination in various settings. In Minnesota, these forms of discrimination are also outlawed in various aspects of public life under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), which offers protections often broader than federal regulations.
National origin discrimination can occur in various areas including:
Employment: In the workplace, both the MHRA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbid employers from making employment decisions (like hiring, firing, promotions, or benefits) based on an employee's or potential employee's national origin. This includes indirect forms of discrimination such as practices that are seemingly neutral but disproportionately affect individuals of a particular origin.
Housing: The MHRA, along with the federal Fair Housing Act, prohibits housing discrimination. This means landlords and real estate companies cannot deny housing or provide different housing services based on a person's national origin.
Education: The MHRA extends its anti-discrimination provisions to educational institutions, ensuring that students are not subjected to discrimination or harassment based on their national origin. Federal protections under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act also apply.
Public Services and Accommodations: Under the MHRA, individuals cannot be discriminated against based on their national origin when accessing public services or public accommodations such as restaurants, hotels, or theaters.
How can one spot national origin discrimination?
National origin discrimination can take many forms, including:
Direct Discrimination: When someone is explicitly treated differently because of their national origin.
Indirect Discrimination: When a seemingly neutral policy has a disparate impact on people of a certain national origin.
Harassment: When unwelcome comments or conduct based on national origin create a hostile or intimidating environment.