Employees in California are protected from discrimination on many levels. One of the prohibitions is discrimination based on national origin. Employers cannot give disparate treatment to prospective and current employees based on where they are from and must treat all employees equally with regard to hiring and employment policies.

Ethnicity or accent should not be grounds for treating an employee differently. This is based on where the employer thinks they the employee is from as opposed to their actual origin. In other words, this prohibition is based on the employer’s mindset. Even if the employee is not from the actual place where the employer thinks, it may still be discrimination.

National origin discrimination is broad in scope. It certainly extends to hiring decisions and also reaches employment rules, pay, promotions and hiring decisions. Not only is the employee protected based on where they are from, but they cannot be discriminated against based on their spouse’s national origin.

Employee protections also extend to situations of harassment. Employers may not make any type of derogatory remarks to the employee or jokes at their expense. This also means that other employees cannot create a hostile environment with jokes and teasing. It does not prohibit every remark, but the environment cannot escalate to one that is inhospitable. Nondiscrimination requirements are enforced by the Department of Justice.

Any employees or prospective employees who believe that they have been discriminated against have legal rights. They may want to hire an attorney who practices employment law to learn more about the measures that they can take against the supervisor and the company that subjected them to discriminatory treatment. They may be able to file a lawsuit against the company for the discrimination experienced on the job or that kept them from getting the job.