If you’ve come to California to work as an immigrant, then you know you occasionally face some hardships. You may struggle with an employer who is not treating you well or be concerned that you’re not being paid as much as others working with you in the same position.
As someone who may not be familiar with all of his or her rights in America, it’s important that you understand your right to a safe and harassment-free workplace. There are laws that protect you against employers who would otherwise take advantage of you or treat you poorly.
Can you be discriminated against for your nation of origin?
No, no matter where you come from, it is illegal for employers to discriminate based on your original country. It is also illegal for employers to discriminate against you because of where your ancestors are from. For instance, if you are a first-generation Mexican-American, it would be extremely unfair for someone to treat you differently just because your mother or father lived in Mexico and then immigrated to America.
Can an employer discriminate against you due to your accent?
This is a more difficult situation. An accent can get in the way of some kinds of jobs, so choosing to hire workers with a specific accent, or lack of an accent, may be necessary. For example, if you’re working for a company that teaches American English but speak with a heavy Spanish accent, it is unlikely that you would speak with the correct intonations required for the job. If your accent does not affect your ability to do a job, then the employer may not discriminate against you because of it.
Whenever someone is discriminated against, it hurts the American workforce. You deserve to be heard and to work in a safe, positive atmosphere.