National Origin Discrimination Lawyer in Rochester, NY

Experienced Rochester Employment Lawyer Protecting Victims of National Origin Discrimination in the Workplace

The United States is known as a melting pot where different cultures can feel comfortable and enjoy the same opportunities. Both the federal government and the state of New York have anti-discrimination laws in place to ensure those opportunities are granted. Sadly, some employers discriminate against people based on national origin. If you’re a victim of national origin discrimination, you are likely dealing with a multitude of emotions. You might be angry, frightened, hurt, and even confused. Why would someone discriminate against you based on your national origin?

First, it’s essential to understand that you are far from alone. In 2016, close to 10,000 people filed national origin discrimination claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Second, it’s crucial to understand that you aren’t alone in this fight. Michelle Cimino of The Cimino Law Firm has dedicated more than 20 years to fighting for employee rights. The Cimino Law Firm will be your advocate during the legal process.

Contact us today for a confidential phone consultation.

What Are Some Examples of National Origin Discrimination?

National Origin Discrimination Lawyer in Rochester, NY The laws clearly state that employers cannot discriminate against employees based on national origin when hiring, firing, or employing them. However, it can be difficult for employees to know when they are being discriminated against, so they are unsure if they should take legal action. Look at some of the common discriminatory practices that some employers in New York engage in to better understand this issue. Keep in mind that these are just some examples of discrimination.

English-only Policies

Some companies have English-only policies to ensure the efficient or safe operation of the business. When that is the case, these policies are legal. However, some employers put these policies in place to prevent people from different countries or backgrounds from working at the company. When the policy is put in place for discriminatory reasons, the employee can file a claim against the employer.

Hiring Practices

Far too many employers engage in national origin discrimination when hiring employees. They might advertise jobs in a way that excludes work-authorized immigrants or natural citizens of immigrant parents. Some even throw out applications based on a person’s last name. For instance, if an employer notices an application with a Hispanic-sounding name, he or she might throw it in the garbage. If you are highly qualified for a job but never got called in for an interview or did not get hired, it could be a case of work discrimination.

Unequal Pay

Many people are familiar with the gender pay gap in this country. Sex discrimination laws prohibit employers from paying women less than men. The same is true for citizens and people from other countries. If an American citizen and a work-authorized immigrant do the same job, have the same skills, and have the same experience, they should receive equal pay. If there is a disparity in pay, it is like due to national origin discrimination.

Isolation or Segregation

National origin discrimination can also take the form of isolation or segregation. Some companies isolate or segregate people from other countries and refuse to allow them to interact with the customers. This is not based on merit or the skills the employee has and is not permitted in the workplace.

Work Authorization Documents

New York is filled with work-authorized immigration. These men and women have the right to work, raise families, and live in the United States. The immigrants have documents that prove their work-authorized status. While the employer can see these documents, they cannot ask for additional verification documents. This presents an undue hardship on the employees and is against the law.

Some employers take this even a step further by only asking non-Caucasian applicants to provide documents related to their right to work. Employers must treat each applicant and employee equally, regardless of skin color or national origin.

Hostile Work Environment

National origin discrimination can also create a hostile work environment. This includes slurs, teasing, and threats to employees with different national origins. A single act of harassment is typically not enough to file a claim. However, if you are constantly harassed to the point that you work in a hostile environment, you can hold your employer accountable.

Association Discrimination

Some employees experience what is referred to as national origin association discrimination. They are treated differently because of their spouse’s national origin or groups they are associated with, outside of the workplace. This is also against the law.


National origin discrimination also occurs when people are fired based on their national origin. For instance, if a company has to lay off 20 percent of its workers and only fires those from a specific national origin. That is discrimination.

What If the National Origin Is Only Perceived?

Many people think they cannot file a claim for national origin discrimination if they are merely perceived to be from a specific country. For instance, an employee who was born and raised in the United States might think he or she cannot make a claim after being mistreated due to the employer’s perception. Countless employees are discriminated against based on their perceived national origins. You do not have to be from another country to make a claim.

How Do You File A Discrimination Claim?

Since both the federal and state governments have laws against national origin discrimination, you can file a claim with both. To move your claim forward, you can file it with the EEOC or the New York Division of Human Rights.

You also have the option to sue your employer for engaging in national origin discrimination. You might be entitled to:

  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Punitive damages

The court also might provide injunctive relief. Along with ordering the employer to avoid engaging in discrimination again, this relief can include reinstatement at your previous position if you were fired.  If you are still employed and your employer refused to give you a promotion based on your national origin, the court can order your employer to promote you.

Many of our clients are concerned about injunctive relief. They are worried about returning to a hostile work environment. Let us know if you would prefer to avoid injunctive relief when filing your claim.

Why Choose The Cimino Law Firm for Your Claim?

You have already been through so much. The stress has gotten to you, and you need a compassionate legal team on your side. Michelle Cimino of The Cimino Law Firm will help you through your intense emotions. At the same time, our firm will use the law to hold your employer accountable. Justice is vital in these cases, and we will put all of our resources into fighting for you.

We have offices in Webster and Rochester, New York, so it is easy to visit us. You don’t need to visit our office to get started, though. We offer confidential phone consultations for national origin discrimination cases. Contact us to go over the facts of your case. Then we will let you know if you have a claim and provide a strategy for moving forward. That strategy will be based on more than 20 years of experience litigating these cases.

Begin the process by contacting us today.

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