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National Origin Discrimination: California Approves New Protections To Take Effect July 1, 2018
On behalf of The Kaufman Law Firm posted in Workplace Discrimination on Friday, May 25, 2018.

New protections against discrimination on the basis of national origin are about to take effect in Los Angeles and all across California. The California Office of Administrative Law has recently enacted new protections to job applicants and employees, including those who are undocumented workers, to ban various forms of national origin discrimination.

The new amendments to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) are set to strengthen the existing protections. While the FEHA already makes it illegal to discriminate against applicants, employees and undocumented workers because of their national origin, these new protections expand the definition of “national origin.”

“For example,” says our Los Angeles discrimination attorney at the Kaufman Law Firm, “The current legislation does not ban discrimination against individuals who are married to or are in a relationship with persons of a national origin group. Likewise, the current law does not prohibit discrimination because of the name of an applicant or employee that is associated with a national origin group.”

What types of national origin discrimination will be prohibited?

Starting July 1, 2018, the following types of national origin discrimination will be prohibited by the FEHA in Los Angeles and all across California. The new protections extend to an individual’s or ancestors’ actual or perceived:

  1. Physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics associated with a national origin group (height, hair type, accent, etc.);
  2. Marriage to or association with people of a national origin group;
  3. Tribal affiliation;
  4. Membership in or ties to an organization that is related to a certain national origin group;
  5. Participation in churches, mosques and other religious institutions that are used by people of a national origin group;
  6. Name that is associated with a certain national origin group.

Discrimination on the basis of national origin

The new amendments to the FEHA also broadened the definition of what constitutes national origin discrimination. From July 1, 2018, it will be considered discrimination on the basis of national origin to:

  • Enforce any policies that restrict language use, including English-only policies, unless the employer can prove that not enforcing these policies would be damaging to the interests of the business;
  • Discriminate against an applicant or employee based on his/her accident unless the employer can prove that having an accent associated with a national origin group would make it impossible for the individual to perform the job and/or would be detrimental to the company’s interests;
  • Discriminate against applicants and employees based on English proficiency unless the employer can prove that English proficiency is a vital element of a person’s duties;
  • Introduce any height or weight requirements that are associated with a certain national origin group unless these requirements can be justified by the nature of the applicant or employee’s duties;
  • Recruit or assign positions, locations, tasks, facilities based on national origin;
  • Inquire into a job applicant, employee, or undocumented worker’s immigration status, or discriminate against an individual because of his/her immigration status unless the employer was ordered to do so to cooperate with the immigration agencies and the practices are compliant with federal immigration law.

Our Los Angeles discrimination attorney at the Kaufman Law Firm warns that these new regulations will take effect on July 1, 2018. If you believe that your employer or supervisor has discriminated against you on the basis of national origin, do not hesitate to speak to our lawyers to discover your best legal strategy. Call our offices at (818)-305-6457 or (866)-278-2385 or send us an email to get a free consultation today.

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