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National origin discrimination and cultural traits

In a state as diverse as California, in a metro with as much international presence as San Diego, it's important that workplace discrimination does not occur. Many workers understand that discrimination based on race, religion and other factors is generally illegal. However, many may not realize that discrimination based on national origin is also against the law. Therefore, workers may become victimized if such discrimination is allowed to take place.

National origin is one of many different elements of an individual that can involve discrimination at work. The place of origin of a person may be the country in which they were born, a region of the world that is not technically a country but recognized as a distinct cultural area or a former nation. A national origin group is a group of people who tend to share a broad scope of cultural characteristics, such as Latinos, who may be from many different nations, or Arabs, who may also have ancestry stemming from various regions.

If a person has cultural characteristics, appearance, language or clothing style associated with a one of the above, and suffers discrimination at work as a result, that may be national origin discrimination. It's important to remember that this type of discrimination does not concern immigration status or citizenship.

Not surprisingly, national origin discrimination is not unusual in areas like San Diego, where people from many different regions and cultures work together every day. For victims of national origin discrimination, it can be extra confusing to know where to turn, since this type of discrimination tends not to be as obvious as that based purely on race or gender. A workplace discrimination attorney can clarify employee rights in the modern workplace and fight for the rights of San Diego workers.

Source: FEDweek.com, "Guidance issued on national origin discrimination," Nov. 29, 2016