Race Discrimination and National Origin Discrimination
What are Race Discrimination and National Origin Discrimination?
An employer cannot discriminate against an employee because of their race or national origin. These cases most often involve employees who are African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American, or of Middle-Eastern descent; however, they can be brought by a person of any race or national origin (including White employees). Here are some of the kinds of evidence that are often important in proving discrimination based on race or national origin:
- Replacement of the fired worker with someone who is from a different race or national origin.
- Use of slurs based on race or national origin (for example, using the “N-word” to refer to African-Americans, referring to Hispanic people as “wetbacks” or people of Middle-Eastern descent as “camel jockeys” or “rag heads”).
- Use of racial or ethnic stereotypes (for example, commenting that Hispanics or African-Americans tend to be lazy or inarticulate, or that Asian-Americans tend to be bad drivers).
- Jokes based on race or national origin.
- Displaying symbols of racial or ethnic hatred (such as hanging a noose or picture of a burning cross near the desk of an African-American employee, even as a “joke”)
- Comments indicating hostility towards racial or ethnic groups generally (employees, customers, vendors, or others).
- Different treatment of those outside the race or national origin in question in similar situations (for example, giving Hispanic or African-American employees lower pay, higher sales or production quotas, or fewer opportunities for training and promotion).
Comments related to race and national origin are generally most helpful when they are made by someone who supervises the employee who is bringing the legal claim, or when such a supervisor knows about them and doesn’t take action to make them stop.