According to the EEOC, national origin discrimination occurs when employers treat applicants or employees less favorably because they're from a different country in the world, or they have a certain accent, or they're of a certain ethnicity, or they look like they're from a certain ethnic background (regardless of whether they actually are or not).
An applicant or employee may also be facing national origin discrimination if they're treated less favorably because they are married to a person of a certain national origin.
Also, unlike some other laws regarding discrimination, for it to be national origin discrimination, the victim and the person inflicting national origin discrimination do not have to be different national origins, they can be the same national origins.
What protections against national origin discrimination do that laws offer?
•According to the EEOC, employers cannot discrimination in any aspect of employment such as: hiring, firing, job benefits, pay, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, or any other condition of employment.
•In addition, it is also illegal to harass an individual because of their national origin. The harassment, however, must be severe and must cause the workplace to become a hostile environment. This doesn't mean that an employee should not contact their HR department if they've already asked the harasser to stop their harassment, but it was to no avail. Employees should always file a complaint or report any harassment even if they're not sure if it's severe. If an HR department will not take it seriously, speak to an experienced attorney.