Articles Posted in national origin discrimination

Mistreatment of immigrant employees unfortunately happens all too often, as some employers take advantage of workers’ lack of English skills and fear of potential deportation. Holding these firms accountable for such discrimination is a primary goal of our L.A. employment discrimination lawyers. employment discrimination

One’s immigration status or language skills should have no bearing on the way a company treats its workers.

Recently in Illinois, two restaurants and an employment agency were ordered to pay nearly $215,000 in back wages and penalties to a number of immigrant workers who were both mistreated and underpaid. Defendants in the matter – a sushi restaurant, a hibachi restaurant and an employment agency in Chinatown – are all expected to abide the consent decree. A judge will be in charge of overseeing the execution of the settlement, which partly requires the businesses to make a notable change in their employment practices.  Continue reading

We often hear about the working conditions for factory workers in countries like China where those making cellphones for American consumers live in company dorms that allegedly have nets over the building to prevent workers from jumping out windows in suicide attempts.  These suicide attempts are allegedly related to the poor working conditions for workers who are taken far away from home and their families.

Sewing workerWhile conditions are not generally considered this bad in America, at least not in the past 50 years or so, according to a recent news article from Racked, factory conditions for workers in Los Angeles are worse than we might think.  The article focuses on stories of several workers. Continue reading

One of the many campaign promises made by then-candidate Donald Trump was that he intended to make it very difficult for companies to hire immigrant workers.  As president, he has vowed to follow through on this promise.  This will hit California harder than most areas in the nation.

grapesThere are several reasons for this, and part of the problem is that California relies upon foreign nationals in vastly different sectors of industries.  There are obviously the agricultural workers who are sponsored with H2A, which is a visa program for temporary agricultural workers. However, there is also a program that is known as the H1A program that is for skilled workers with at least a university level education that performed work that is difficult for employers to staff with American workers. Continue reading

National origin discrimination is not something that tends to get as much media play as, say, sexual harassment or disability discrimination. But in terms of employment law cases, it accounts for more than 1 in 10 of those filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (as of 2015). That figure is even higher in states like California (16.6 percent) where populations are more diverse. It comprises more than 18 percent of EEOC complaints generated in new Mexico.worker

The prohibition on national origin discrimination is spelled out in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law applicable to all companies with 15 or more employees. It extends to all employees – and applicants – for jobs in the U.S.

National origin discrimination isn’t always obvious, but given its increasing pervasiveness, the EEOC updated its enforcement guidelines, which supersedes the previous compliance manual. These guidelines are meant to serve not only as a road map for the EEOC, but also as a clear warning to companies and a notice to workers of what is acceptable and what is not. Continue reading

According to a recent news story from Bring Me The News, big box retailer Target has just agreed to pay $2.8 million to settle a complaint by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It was alleged the screening process for job applicants the retailer used was discriminatory.

to-sign-a-contract-3-1221952-mThe money collected as part of the settlement agreement will be given to the roughly 3,000 candidates who were allegedly rejected for higher-level positions with the retailer. The reason these applicants were rejected, according to EEOC, is because the test instruments utilized in the screening process were allegedly discriminatory against African Americans, Asians and women. EEOC said several of these tests were not even job-related. More specifically, it was not that there was one thing in these tests you point to and say was discriminatory, but when the results are reviewed in the context of the gender, ethnicity and national origin of the applicants, it was clear to EEOC that there was a discriminatory impact. Continue reading

Undocumented workers and their right to enter the country, remain in the country, and work here have become a major topic for the candidates for the Republican nomination for the upcoming presidential election. By now, everyone has heard Donald Trump’s feelings on the Mexican immigrants who enter this country each year, and we have heard the opposition to his comments and also from his supporters.

uscapitolRegardless of anyone’s personal feelings on issues of immigration and undocumented workers, there can be no question that California is very much in the middle of this issue, based upon the number of foreign born workers living in the state. Many of these individuals are working on the many farms throughout our state. According to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Times, California legislators are working on a measure that would specifically allow work permits to be issued to farm workers who are not legally in this country. Continue reading

Bullying has become recognized as a major problem in our society. Most people think of bullying in terms of schools and teenagers, but bullying is a serious problem that happens in many different settings, including during the course of employment.

tirednesssetsinAccording to a recent news article form The Press Enterprise, a new California law requires anti-bullying training for employee supervisors. Employers are already required to undergo mandatory sexual harassment avoidance training, but the new law will add anti-bullying training to the existing program. Continue reading

According to a recent news article from the USC Guardian, State Senator Tony Mendoza introduced Senate Bill SB 432 earlier this year and the senate has just approved his bill. SB 432 was drafted to the remove the term “alien” from the California Labor Code.

atworkIn the existing form of the state labor code, the term alien is used to denote any person who is not a citizen of the United States or a United States national. The term alien to mean a person who is not a US citizen has long history of use in the legal documents of the United States and in common usage. With respect to the legal documents, the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 can be used as an example. This act was used to grant authority to the federal government to deport any non-citizens it determined were dangerous to the nation. Other statutes use the terms illegal and unauthorized alien.

In speaking about why he felt the need to create this piece of legislation, Mendoza stated he feels the term alien holds a negative connotation, and there is no appropriate place for it in modern laws and statutes. Mendoza further argues the term alien has been a derogatory term in common usage, especially in the context of speaking about illegal aliens. Continue reading

Worker discrimination comes in many forms, including adverse employment action, disparate treatment, and other illegal and unlawful employer activities. In a recent case, the Justice Department has announced that it reached a settlement with a San Francisco bakery involving discrimination against foreign-born workers. According to the compliant, the bakery was in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by improperly rejecting a worker’s valid work authorization documents. The case was investigated by the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.

one-dollar-1380007-mIn accordance with the settlement agreement, the baker will pay $26,000 in back pay and additional compensation to the employee who suffered damages as a result of the discrimination. In addition to the financial compensation owed to the individual employee, the company has agreed to modify its hiring practices and has agreed to external monitoring of those practices for the next two years. Immigrants and other non-native workers may face a number of challenges in the workplace, but every worker in the U.S. has rights and can take legal action—even without citizenship. Employers are prohibited from making assumption about the validity of employment documents based on stereotypes and unfounded assumptions.

Employers who want to insulate themselves against civil rights violations can inquire about how to review and accept I-9 documentation to prevent discrimination investigations and penalties. The Immigration and Nationality Act protects foreign workers from discrimination in the workplace. These laws prevent employers from placing additional burdens on applicants who are authorized to work because of their national origin or citizenship status. The law also protects workers from discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin in hiring, firing, or recruitment of employees.