New Jersey National Origin Discrimination Lawyer
You probably know that it is against the law for an employer to discriminate against an employee (or job applicant) on the basis of race. But the law also forbids the same type of discrimination based on national origin. In other words, someone cannot refuse to hire you because of where you came from–or even where the employer incorrectly believes you came from.
Basically, a New Jersey business cannot make employment decisions based on a person’s real or perceived ethnic background. So if you have faced this form of discrimination, the attorneys at Poulos LoPiccolo PC are here to help. We are experienced New Jersey national origin discrimination lawyers who represent clients who have been harmed by the prejudice and stereotypes that remains far too common in our society.
Direct and Indirect Discrimination Are Illegal in New Jersey
National origin discrimination can be direct or indirect. Direct discrimination means the employer makes blanket decisions about employees based on perceived national origin. For instance, an employer decides they will not hire any job applicant from a particular country or region or anyone who speaks with a specific type of accent. Indirect discrimination, in contrast, usually takes the form of employment policies that have a discriminatory effect even if they are presented as neutral. For instance, an employer has an “English-only” rule in the workplace that has the affect of discriminating against a specific group of employees.
In many cases, employers adopt discriminatory policies due to the perceived biases of their customers. For example, a business may not allow employees from Middle Eastern companies to work in a customer-facing customer service role. Conversely, a business may only hire people from a specific country or region to interact with the public. Both of these are still examples of illegal national origin discrimination. It is quite simple: An employer generally cannot use “business reasons” alone to justify treating people differently based on their actual or perceived place of origin.
That said, employers can justify certain policies, such as requiring a person to speak English fluently, if they can show it is necessary for the proper functioning of their business. And even when such rules are permitted under the law, they still must be enforced consistently. Employers who only enforce certain policies against employees from a specific country or area can still be found liable for national origin discrimination even if the policy itself is not illegal.
National Origin Discrimination Lawyers Serving Ocean, Monmouth & Middlesex County
If you have been the victim of national origin discrimination in the workplace, you do not have to sit quietly and do nothing. There are legal avenues available for seeking damages. Depending on your case, this may include reinstatement to a job you were illegally fired from with back pay and additional compensation for your pain and suffering.
So if you need to speak with a skilled New Jersey national origin discrimination lawyer, contact Poulos LoPiccolo PC today to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our employment law team.