What is national origin discrimination?
National origin discrimination is where someone is treated less favorably because he or she comes from a particular place, because of his or her ethnicity or accent, or because it is believed that he or she has a particular ethnic background. National origin discrimination is illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and employers are prohibited from considering national origin in hiring, firing, recruiting, giving promotions or conducting layoffs. An employer must also take steps to prevent offensive conduct on the basis of national origin, such as the use of ethnic slurs in the workplace or other conduct that creates a hostile work environment. Furthermore, an employer cannot base employment decisions on an employee’s foreign accent (unless it inteferes with the job), canot require English fluency (again, unless it is integral to the position) and may only enact English-only rules if they are necessary to promote the safe or efficient operation of the employer’s business.