National origin harassment
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act protects employees whose origin is outside of the United States. Harassment based on national origin falls under the same guidelines as harassment based on race. Actions that are indicative of harassment include gestures, written comments, and verbal comments regarding an individual’s clothing, hair, speech, etc. Harassment in such cases is unlawful if it has been motivated based on the employee’s national origin, and it has created a hostile and unwelcoming work environment.
Harassment of any kind is difficult to punish, as it is difficult to prove that the comments were made with malicious intent. However, by using statistics from within the workplace, it is possible to obtain enough evidence that the comments were meant to be degrading; these types of cases are subjective, and the plaintiff must prove that the comments were made in direct relation to their national origin. Even if the comments are infrequent, they can still have a damaging effect on employees.
In order for the plaintiff to have the strongest case possible, it is important that the employee has made it clear to the offenders that their comments and actions have been unwelcome and that they wish it to stop. This also includes reporting the harassment to a supervisor, if the harassment is coming from a fellow employee. By law, employers are required to take all reasonable actions to prevent harassment in the workplace. Failure to do so creates a liability for the employer, and there is a greater chance that the case will end in a settlement of some kind of the plaintiff. If the harassment continues even after the employee has discussed it with a supervisor, the complainant will have a stronger case based on the fact that they approached both the violator as well as the supervisor about the harassment.
If you feel have been harassed in the workplace on the basis of National Origin, contact Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani LLP today for a free consultation.