Michigan National Origin Discrimination Attorneys
Immigration is an integral part of how the United States was formed and has developed into one of the most diverse, innovative, and prosperous nations on earth. Yet, despite the myriad benefits of immigration, foreign nationals and American citizens of foreign descent still face employment discrimination based on their national origins.
If you were a victim of workplace discrimination based on your national origin, you have legal rights. You may be entitled to substantial compensation for any damages resulting from the discrimination. Common damages include lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, legal fees, and other related expenses.
National origin employment discrimination should not be tolerated. If you have been discriminated against at work, it is in your best interest to seek immediate legal counsel from an experienced employment discrimination attorney. Contact Sommers Schwartz, P.C., today for a confidential consultation about your case.
What Is National Origin Employment Discrimination?
National origin employment discrimination occurs when workers or job applicants are treated unfairly because of their national origin, accent, or ethnicity. Such discrimination is unlawful in Michigan and at the federal level. Examples include:
- Mocking someone’s accent.
- Requiring employees to speak English.
- Prohibiting employees from wearing cultural attire, such as hijab (head covering).
- Citizenship issues.
National origin discrimination in the workplace is prohibited at every stage of the employment process, including:
- Interview and hiring process.
- Wages and benefits.
- Employment references.
Federal National Origin Employment Discrimination Laws
Several federal laws protect workers from employment discrimination based on national origin. According to the National Origin-Based Charges Report, a whopping 6,377 charges were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2020, with monetary benefits totaling $26.3 million.
Under the United States Constitution, the Fifth Amendment gives citizens and lawful residents the right to work, regardless of their origin of birth, culture, ancestry, or linguistic characteristics. Discriminating against an employee or job applicant for any of these reasons is prohibited by federal law.
The Immigration and Nationality Act is another federal law that prohibits employment discrimination based on national origin. It applies to all aspects of the hiring and employment process, including:
- Refusing to hire.
- Employment termination.
- Promotions and demotions.
The EEOC is also responsible for enforcing laws against employment discrimination. In Michigan, before filing a lawsuit against your employer, you must first file a formal complaint with the EEOC within 300 days of the alleged incident. If you wish to sue, you must request a Notice of Right to Sue during the investigation into your complaint. Once you receive this notice, you can file a lawsuit in state or federal court.
Michigan Protections for Victims of National Origin Employment Discrimination
Victims of employment discrimination based on national origin can file a claim at both federal and state levels.
Under Michigan law, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits national origin employment discrimination. If you believe you have been treated unfairly based on your national origin, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for any damages incurred.
You can file a discrimination claim with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) but must file your complaint within 180 days of the discriminatory incident. If you wish to file a lawsuit, however, you have three years from the date of the incident to do so.
Legal Claims and Damages for National Origin Employment Discrimination
Whether you file a claim or lawsuit at the state or federal level, you have a right to obtain compensation for damages you’ve suffered. Common damages in national origin workplace discrimination cases include:
- Lost income.
- Emotional pain and suffering.
- Expenses related to rehiring.
- Punitive damages.
- Legal fees.
Contact a Michigan National Origin Discrimination Attorney Today
If you have been treated unfairly or wrongfully terminated based on your national origin, the skilled employment law team at Sommers Schwartz, P.C., can help. You have the right to work in a healthy, non-hostile work environment. Don’t suffer in silence. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.