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An overview of national origin discrimination

California is the home to people of many different ethnicities and national origins. People from all over the world come to the Los Angeles area and to Southern California more generally for the various economic opportunities and freedoms that this state offers.

Indeed, both federal and state laws protect such people from any form of discrimination based on their national origin. Under the federal law, employers may not single out those from a certain country or more generally speaking, who were not born in the United States for negative treatment. Negative treatment can include a number of things, like refusing to hire a person, firing the person, or even relatively subtle actions like passing them over for a promotion that they deserve.

The federal law banning this sort of discrimination is broad. For instance, it also prohibits discrimination based on perceived national origin, even if it turns out that the victim actually has no ties to the country in question. Likewise, the law prohibits discrimination based on the fact that an employee chooses to associate with those from a particular country or region of the world.

Furthermore, as with other forms of discrimination, employers have a duty to prevent harassment and a hostile working environment. For example, tolerating an environment where co-workers frequently use ethnic slurs or insults can make an employer liable for discrimination based on harassment.

Finally, employers can also get in trouble for engaging in national origin discrimination if they use company-wide policies in a way to weed out or segregate people from other countries. For example, English-only policies or requiring an employee to have a clear English accent are often problematic, although in some cases, these policies may be justifiable.

A Californian who feels he or she has been discriminated against based on his or her national origin does not have to stand for this sort of unlawful behavior. They may be able to exercise legal options to help them recover compensation and obtain other relief.

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