National Origin Discrimination

National Origin Discrimination is different than race discrimination. It happens when an employer discriminates because of where someone was born. Obviously, race discrimination and national origin discrimination can often go hand-in-hand.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act, (IRCA) prohibits employment discrimination because of national origin against U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and authorized aliens.

A "U.S. citizens only" policy in hiring is illegal. An employer may require U.S. citizenship for a particular job only if it is required by federal, state, or local law, or by government contract.

An employer may not discriminate because of citizenship status against U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and the following classes of aliens with work authorization: permanent residents, temporary residents (that is, individuals who have gone through the legalization program), refugees, and asylees.

An employment application form may not ask an individual about his or her citizenship status. Rather, the form may only ask whether or not an individual is legally authorized to work in the United States.

Generally, an employer may not discriminate against an individual because of an accent. In Fragrante v. City of Honolulu, the court held that an employer may take adverse employment action on the basis of an individual's accent only where that accent would materially interfere with job performance.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans national origin discrimination against any individual.

Further information