Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee because of that employee’s national origin.
“National origin discrimination involves treating people (applicants or employees) unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background (even if they are not).”
“National origin discrimination also can involve treating people unfavorably because they are married to (or associated with) a person of a certain national origin or because of their connection with an ethnic organization or group.”
“Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same national origin.”
An employer must have 15 employees for either Title VII or the Texas Labor Codes provisions protecting national origin discrimination to apply.
Like other forms of discrimination, it is unlawful to retaliate against an employee who has filed a charge of discrimination or otherwise opposes any employment practices that discriminate because of their national origin. “Employees have a right to be free from retaliation for their opposition to discrimination or their participation in an EEOC proceeding by filing a charge, testifying, assisting, or otherwise participating in an agency proceeding.”
Potential damages under Title VII for national origin discrimination are:
- Back pay – Consists of wages, salary and fringe benefits you would have earned during the period of discrimination from termination to trial
- Compensatory damages – Allowed for future loss, emotional distress, pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life
There are limits to what you can recover for natural origin discrimination. The limits are determined according to the size of your employer. The limits on damages are as follows:
- Up to 100 employees: $50,000
- 101-200 employees: $100,000
- 201-500 employees: $200,000
- 500+ employees: $300,000
If you bring a claim under Title VII, you must first file a charge of discrimination with either the Texas Workforce Commission or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. There are very specific deadlines from which you must file your charge of discrimination, and you must file your charge of discrimination before you can file a lawsuit.
If you have been the victim of national origin discrimination in Houston, call 713-987-7100 for free case evaluation with a Houston employment discrimination lawyer at Herbert & McClelland LLP.