Discrimination based on sex, skin color and religion are easy to spot and highly ingrained in the American psyche. But a less well-known factor in discrimination is national origin. National origin is not discrimination based upon immigrant status, it is discrimination based upon someone’s heritage. National origin discrimination can happen to resident aliens, naturalized citizens and native-born citizens. This article will go over national origin discrimination and how you may report a claim if you are discriminated against.

There is a concern at the Department of Justice that national origin discrimination is under-reported because many of the victims are not aware of their rights. To address this issue, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division established the National Origin Working Group to help citizens and immigrants understand their legal rights. This group puts out literature and hosts workshops to educate people on their rights.

Discrimination can happen against you personally. It can result when a co-worker makes racial epithets against your family because of their heritage or national origin. It can happen if an employer denies you a job because you have an accent or speak a second language. It can happen if your employer requires you to provide additional paperwork due to your looks, accent or family history. At any moment when you are treated differently because your cultural heritage is different, then you have been the victim of discrimination based on national origin. You can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and with the Employment Litigation Section.

If you were the victim of discrimination in the workplace, then you may want to speak to an attorney. National origin is a protected classification, so you don’t have to accept workplace discrimination as a fact of life. You are entitled to the same protections as any other worker. Don’t let a bully or racist supervisor trample all over your dignity.