Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
National origin discrimination is considered so repugnant to the U.S. legal system that there are multiple layers of constitutional protections from it under federal and state law. A skilled national origin discrimination attorney can pursue and enforce your rights if you are called derogatory names, denied a job offer, harassed, demoted, or overlooked for a promotion because of another person’s views on your national origin.
State College-based constitutional attorneys at the Law Office of Andrew Shubin are prepared to defend your rights and seek compensation for your losses. With a track record of success, you can rely on the Shubin legal team to protect you against people who caused you harm through hateful and angry actions. To learn more about your rights, schedule a free and private consultation at (814) 826-3586.
Laws Against National Origin Discrimination
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) and 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (Section 1981) protect you against national origin discrimination. If the discrimination is in the context of employment, you can file both Title VII and Section 1981 claims. Section 1981 applies to all situations involving the enforcement of contracts. A contract is a written agreement you received when you were hired. However, contracts take many legal forms and you should go over this information with a qualified attorney.
There are additional protections under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (“PHRA”), which guarantees state protection against discrimination on the basis of your ancestry, race, and national origin.
What is Illegal “National Origin” Discrimination?
Discrimination on the basis of national origin is not what most people think it is. It is not the same as discrimination against people without the U.S. citizenship nor is it based solely on someone’s birthplace. National origin is linked to ancestry and ethnicity as well as to the prejudices people have may that prompt them to cause harm as well as pain and suffering.
Moreover, the discriminatory acts don’t have to relate to a country of origin but to stereotypes and unfounded beliefs that shouldn’t cause anyone to lose a job, raise or promotion. When someone’s cultural traits, ancestry, ethnicity or outward appearance are the basis for discrimination, you can file a lawsuit based on a national origin discrimination claim. Courts will not focus on where you’re from but on what was in the minds of people who thought less of you because of your accent or your cultural traditions. For example:
- If your food traditions, such as not eating pork or beef, become a subject of mockery.
- If work policies (lacking a legitimate business reason) are instituted to attack the way you dress or do your hair consistent with your ethnic or ancestral traditions.
- Your accent turns into a focus for denying a job offer, a demotion or denial of qualified opportunities.
- You’re called names or bullied at work or at school because people think you come from a particular country or ancestry.
Filing Section 1981 and Title VII Claims Properly
If you are filing a claim of national origin discrimination in employment, your claim must be filed within 180 days of the adverse employment action. You can file the state and federal claim concurrently. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sections 959(a) and 962 under the PHRA and Title VII require discrimination plaintiffs to “exhaust” administrative remedies before their lawsuit is approved to move forward to a court of law.
Exhaustion of remedies means that you are required to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Initially, there is an investigation of your allegations. A skilled attorney can guide you through this process.
In Pennsylvania, Discrimination under Title VII and the PHRA have the same requirements, forcing you to establish you are:
- In a “protected” class
- Qualified for your employment position
- Suffering or suffered an adverse employment action
- Facing adverse employment actions due to a discriminatory animus
Title VII’s emphasis is on the discriminatory “motivation” for treating the employee differently. Motivation or animus is a key element for your legal claims. Your employer is subject to legal responsibility when the discriminatory actions are ignored.
Financial Compensation for Your Losses Under Title VII
If your Title VII claim is successful, you can ask for:
- An award of back pay and front pay
- Compensatory losses for the expenses you had to incur due to the discrimination.
In addition, you can also recover future monetary losses in the form of punitive damages.
Suing for Discrimination Under Section 1981
While Section 1981 applies to the same type of illegal conduct as Title VII, it doesn’t require that you file claims with the EEOC; in fact, you can file your lawsuit in federal court directly. A successful Section 1981 should prove:
- That you are part of a racial minority
- An intent to discriminate
- That you were discriminated against because of your ancestry or ethnic characteristics
While a discrimination claim under Section 1981 seems less time consuming than under Title VII, the foundation of this case must be in the form of a contractual relationship. With the assistance of your attorney, you can determine if this basis applies to you.
If you bring a successful Section 1981 claim, you can’t recover back pay, but you can obtain compensation for your losses as well as punitive damages.
Call Accomplished Penn State College, PA National Origin Discrimination Attorneys
If you or someone you know in State College, PA needs legal representation against acts that were discriminatory in nature, call the Law Office of Attorney Andrew Shubin. The Shubin law practice is known for providing high-quality legal representation in complicated cases of national origin discrimination due to unwarranted biases and misperceptions. We only get paid if our claim is successful. Call (814) 826-3586 today to schedule a free consultation.