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National Origin Discrimination

Residents of California come from all over the globe. Some are recent immigrants, and some have lived here with their families for generations. Two residents may have the same racial background, but also belong to different tribes, ethnic groups, ancestors, or they may even different colored skin. California law prohibits employers from considering such ethnic differences when making employment decisions. California law also prohibits harassment and retaliation based on ethnicity.


The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects employees from discrimination based on their national origin, ancestry, or genetic information (collectively, ethnicity). An employer cannot consider an employee’s ethnicity when making decisions to hire, fire, or promote an employee. An employer also cannot consider ethnicity when granting a pay raise. If an employer considers ethnicity when making these employment decisions, they may be subject to a lawsuit. An employee can file a lawsuit against their employer if they believe they have been subject to discrimination.

Employers almost always try to provide an alternative reason for ethnic discrimination. An employer may question an employee’s work performance. The employer may state they are reducing their overall work force. The employer may simply say they are “pivoting in a new direction” when they terminate an employee. Despite these excuses, an employee can potentially still prove ethnicity discrimination. For example, an employer may have a tendency to refuse to promote employees from a certain country. Or, an employer may tend to only hire employees from a certain ethnic background. Employers cannot hide behind pretextual reasons for discrimination.


An employee may also suffer harassment due to their ethnicity. An employee can suffer harassment at the hands of their managers, their co-workers, or even third party vendors that do not work for the employer. If a coworker regularly calls an employee an ethnic slur , or if a manager frequently states that they prefer accents from a different national origin, there may be a case of age harassment. An employee may be entitled to monetary compensation for suffering such harassment. Often, discrimination and harassment occur at the same time. An employee can file a lawsuit for both discrimination and harassment based on ethnicity. An employee may be entitled to monetary compensation for suffering such harassment.


Some employees decide to stand up against ethnic harassment or discrimination. They may complain to other co-workers, managers, the human resources department, or even government agencies about the discrimination and harassment they face. Sometimes, an employee may testify in another employee’s case against their employer.

Employers may choose to punish employees for complaints of discrimination or harassment based on ethnicity. An employer may choose to demote, cut pay or hours, or even fire an employee who speaks out against illegal practices. California law prohibits this type of punishment, called “Retaliation.” An employee may be entitled to monetary compensation for suffering such retaliation.

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Every case of ethnic discrimination, harassment, or discrimination is different. If you feel like you suffered at the hands of your employer based on your age, you should consult with a qualified attorney to discuss your potential case. These cases are subject to strict time limits, so you should not wait to file your case.

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A+ Lawyer...Griselda was always a great communicator, she was always very compassionate about what I was going through. I would highly recommend Griselda and her won't be disappointed Jeff