Employment Lawyers Fighting for Workers’ Rights in New Jersey, Pennsylvania & Throughout the United States

National Origin Discrimination in the Workplace

Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees and applicants based on their national origin. However, despite the federal and state laws that prohibit national origin discrimination, it still occurs in many workplaces. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler advocate for people who have been the victims of unlawful discrimination based on their national origin.

What is national origin discrimination?

National origin discrimination may be direct or subtle. An example of direct discrimination based on national origin would include an employer who refuses to hire people who originate from Mexico or to interview anyone whose name sounds Hispanic. An example of subtle discrimination might include an employer that refuses to allow workers to wear clothing that reflects their ethnicity. National origin discrimination is often based on stereotypes about what people from certain countries are like.

Accent rules

Employers may only make job decisions based on the accent of an employee if it significantly impacts the employee’s ability to do the job. For instance, a company might legitimately transfer an employee who has a heavy accent from a help desk job to a job that doesn’t involve customer contact if customers had complained of an inability to understand the instructions that he or she gave. The transfer would not be legitimate if it did not interfere with his ability to do his job.

Schedule an appointment today. Call (856) 685-7420 or

Schedule an appointment today.
Call (856) 685-7420 or

Employers may have rules that require workers to speak in other languages for business reasons such as advertising for bilingual workers. They may mandate that English is spoken at work if it is necessary for the business. However, courts may look closely at the scope of English-only rules. Employers may not mandate that employees avoid talking in their native languages while they are on break or when they are talking to customers who also speak in the foreign language.

Citizenship requirements

Requirements that employees must all be U.S. citizens may violate the law if the effect is discrimination based on national origin under Title VII. Employers are not allowed to discriminate against workers on the basis of their citizenship under the Immigration Reform and Control Act if the workers are legally authorized to work in the U.S. However, if U.S. citizenship is an essential requirement under a federal law for the job, employers can base their decisions on citizenship status.

Contact Swartz Swidler

National origin discrimination is unlawful, but it still occurs. If you have been the victim of discrimination based on your national origin, call Swartz Swidler to learn about your rights.

Most Frequently Asked Question: Do I Have A Case?

While it is true that every case is different, The law is pretty clear in most cases. The best way to determine if you have a case is to contact one of our attorneys. For more information check out the FAQ below or visit our FAQ Page

Most Frequently Asked Question:
Do I Have A Case?

While it is true that every case is different, The law is pretty clear in most cases. The best way to determine if you have a case is contact one of our attorneys. For more information on a just a few scenarios checkout the flip box FAQ below or visit our FAQ Page.

Our Locations

Cherry Hill Headquarters

1101 Kings Hwy N
Suite 402
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034

Phone: (856) 685-7420
Fax: (856) 685-7417

Philadelphia Satellite Office

123 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: (215) 995-2733

Our Locations

Cherry Hill Headquarters

1101 Kings Hwy N
Suite 402
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034

Phone: (856) 685-7420
Fax: (856) 685-7417

Philadelphia Satellite Office

123 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: (215) 995-2733