Many times discrimination is blatant. Other times a policy may not appear
to be discriminatory on its face, but on closer examination the effect
is to discriminate against a certain group. Either instance may lead to
a successful discrimination case. Consulting with a knowledgeable
Georgia national origin discrimination attorney is important if you believe you have suffered any type of employment discrimination.
In what is reported as the largest settlement ever for a workplace language
discrimination claim, a regional hospital in California’s Central
Valley agreed to pay $975,000 to settle gender discrimination claims filed
by nearly 70 Filipino American employees.
National origin discrimination means treating someone less favorably because
he or she is from a particular place, because of his or her ethnicity
or accent, or because it is believed that he or she has a particular ethnic
background. National origin discrimination also means treating someone
less favorably at work because of marriage or other association with someone
of a particular nationality.
National origin discrimination can manifest itself in a number of ways–accent
discrimination, English fluency and English-only rules, and ethnic slurs
are just some of the forms that national origin discrimination can take.
Whatever the basis of the discrimination, your employer may not take adverse
action against you because of your national origin. This also includes
harassment, such as name-calling or abuse because of your national origin.
Also, like the other anti-discrimination laws, the national origin discrimination
rules also prohibit retaliation against you for complaining about national
origin discrimination or for participating in someone else’s national
origin discrimination case.
According to the California national origin discrimination lawsuit,
EEOC v. Central Calif. Found. for Health, a Delano area hospital “selectively enforced” an “English-only”
language policy. Although California patients’ rights statutes provide
that medical facilities communicate with patients in a language they understand
too often this leads to “English-only” work rules. However
in states with a diverse population such as California, English may not
be appropriate. Additionally it may be difficult for employers to write
workplace language policies in a way that don’t violate the anti-discrimination
provisions of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act or similar state
In this instance, the Medical Center singled out Filipino American employees
and prohibited them from speaking Tagalog or other Filipino languages
anywhere in the hospital. This included public areas such as the hallways,
cafeteria and break rooms. However, this rule wasn’t enforced against
other bilingual staff.
Further, when the Filipinos did speak in English, they were ridiculed
for their accents and humiliated in front of the other workers.
A class action discrimination lawsuit was filed based on these actions.
According to EEOC and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, which intervened
on behalf of some 41 plaintiffs, the $975,000 penalty would represent
the largest settlement ever for a workplace language discrimination case
on the West Coast, and the largest settlement of a language discrimination
case anywhere in the U.S. healthcare industry.
For more information or if you have believe you have been discriminated
against based on your national origin, please contact the experienced
Atlanta employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley Beal LLC for an immediate consultation.