Job Bias Case Allowed Based On National Origin Discrimination

As an unfortunate post-911 result, anti-immigration sentiment and discrimination against those based on their national origin has dramatically increased. National origin discrimination means treating someone differently – and negatively – based on his or her ethnicity. It may include such actions subjecting someone to ethnic slurs or jokes, making fun of one’s accent or having English only rules. It may also apply to job actions such as not hiring, firing or not being promoted as a result of your national origin.

In a recent example of discrimination based on ethnicity, an Iranian American – Hossein Zeinali – was denied security clearance by the Department of Defense and given a lower level job at Raytheon, Co.. Raytheon then fired him, claiming that the termination was based in part on his lack of security clearance. Zeinali then filed a lawsuit alleging race and national origin discrimination.

On appeal, a California court found that firing Zeinali for his lack of security clearance was “pretext,” i.e. an excuse that masks an underlying discriminatory motive. Here, two other employees not of Iranian or Middle Eastern who were also denied security clearance did not lose their jobs. As a result, Zeinali was allowed to continue with his lawsuit against Raytheon.

For more information or if you believe that you have been subjected to bias at work because of your national origin, please contact the dedicated Atlanta employment rights attorneys at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP. Our Georgia law firm is firmly dedicated to protecting employees from work place discrimination.