California Employment Lawyers Association
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Race and National Origin Discrimination

Both federal and California law broadly prohibit employment discrimination against individuals based on race, color, national origin, or ancestry.

“Color” refers to the color of one’s skin – as opposed to one’s race. Color of one’s skin may form the basis for a discrimination claim, even if alleged against a member of the same race. “Race” is interpreted broadly to mean classes of persons identifiable because of their ancestry or ethnic characteristics. “National origin” on its face means “the country where a person was born, or, more broadly, the country from which his or her ancestors came.” Employer rules requiring employees to speak English at all times on the job may constitute discrimination based on national origin and may even allegedly create a hostile work environment for non-English speakers or workers who wish to converse in a different language on the job. Moreover, discrimination based on a person’s accent or dress codes that discriminate against a person’s ethnic attire may constitute a possible national origin discrimination claim.

It is important to note that the protections against race, color, and national origin discrimination extend to persons associated with a member of the protected class (e.g., spouses) and persons perceived as being a member of the protected class.

If you believe you have been subject to discrimination at your workplace based on your race, color, national origin, or ancestry, call a race discrimination attorney at Workplace Justice Advocates, A Professional Law Corporation to see if you have a claim.

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