Carlin & Buchsbaum, LLP
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Where you came from shouldn't count against you at work

Whether you are a first-generation American, a recent immigrant or your family has been in this country for generations, you deserve a hostility-free workplace. Your culture, religious beliefs and more that you cherish because of your national origin should not keep you from receiving the same opportunities as anyone else.

In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission protects your right to those opportunities and a hostility-free workplace regardless of the country or part of the world you or your ancestors are from originally. Just because you have an accent or look like or are of a certain ethnicity does not mean anyone has the right to mistreat you.

What the law prohibits

Federal law prohibits employers from engaging in the following actions or behaviors when it comes to current or prospective employees regardless of their national origin:

  • Employers cannot create a policy or procedure that is not necessary to business operations or related to the job that discriminates against a person of a particular national origin.
  • Employers cannot discriminate against you when it comes to the following:
    • Hiring practices
    • Pay
    • Promotions
    • Job assignments
    • Scheduling
    • Fringe benefits
    • Firing
    • Layoffs
    • Anything else related to employment
  • Employers cannot tolerate any form of harassment such as teasing, offensive remarks and more due to your national origin.
  • Employers cannot make employment decisions or otherwise discriminate against you due to your immigration status under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

If you bring your concerns to your employer and the matter is not handled satisfactorily, you have rights.

What the law allows you to do

First, your employer cannot retaliate against you for asserting your rights. You may be hesitant to even make a complaint to the management of the company you work due to fearing retaliation. Even though you may not be able to prevent the retaliation in the short-term, it doesn't have to last forever. As challenging as it may be, the more evidence you can gather, the better off you will be when you have to go outside the company for relief.

This country was built on diversity, and you should not suffer because you or your family took advantage of that in an attempt to build a better life. Even if it may not feel like it right now, those principles still exist, and the law protects you from those who make you forget it.

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