Articles Posted in Ancestry

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Chicago Discrimination Cases Based On Citizenship

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There are some real nuances in the Illinois Human Rights Act (“Act“) regarding citizenship, national origin and ancestry. For example if you are Hispanic and believe you are the victm of discrimination in Illinois you can’t file under racial discrimination. The reason for this is under the Act, race is only white, black or Asian. The Act only recognized three different races. So if you believe you are being discriminated against you would have to proceed under a different category.

There are not many differences under the other categories I listed in the first paragraph. How you would proceed would depend on the facts of your case. For example if the employer is asking if you are a citizen because he think you are Mexican and perhaps here illegally, then you would proceed under citizenship. If there are no inquires about your status but rather there are rude comments about you being Mexican or about your home country, then you can proceed under the other categories. There are very strict time limits for filing a complaint so seek out an experienced employment lawyer and protect your employment rights.

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Caldwell Freight Lines Inc. Settles Discrimination Lawsuit For $120,000

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Caldwell Freight Lines, Inc. pays $120,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of black applications who did not get hired. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). The main case involved Caldwell not hiring black applicants because of their race, African-American. Illinois recognizes three races for the purposes of racial discrimination, white, black and Asian. Many people think Hispanic is also a category for the purpose of racial discrimination but it isn’t. If you are being discriminated against because you are Hispanic, you would have to file a lawsuit based on National Origin or Ancestry.

According to published accounts Caldwell had vacancies for dock workers and accepted applications from approximately 51 individuals. Several black applicants had dock worker experience and were qualified for the job but were not hired. Instead Caldwell hired whites and other non-blacks for the jobs. What was probably the final nail in the coffin for the company was that a high level manager at the facility commented that he “didn’t want any blacks on the dock.” And finally, no blacks were employed as dock workers at the facility during the time this all took place. This would indicate something was amiss.

“Unfortunately, race discrimination in hiring continues despite the passage of Title VII nearly 50 years ago, and African-Americans are often the victims.” said EEOC attorney Lynette A. Barnes

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Sewing Company Settles National Origin Lawsuit For $75,000

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B.J. Con/Sew Corporation pays $75,000 to settle a national origin harassment lawsuit. Apparently the company sewed itself into a corner and ended up having a lawsuit filed against them by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC‘). According to documents which have been made public the company subjected an employee to harassment because of his Hispanic national origin. In Illinois Hispanic is not recognized as a race so you have to file under national origin, color or ancestry. The only three races which are recognized in Illinois are white, black and asian.

In this case the employee, Jason Ramirez, was forced to resign after the company failed to address multiple complaints that Ramirez made about the harassment. This is referred to as a constructive discharge. A constructive discharge occurs when working conditions get so bad any reasonable person would quit. It is treated the same as being fired for purposes of discrmiination claims. Ramirez, who has one Hispanic parent, was subjected to the harassment on a near-daily basis for two-years.

“There is no place for harassment of any kind in any workplace.” said EEOC attorney Lynette A. Barnes

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Discrimination Based on Ancestry In Chicago

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My Chicago offices gets many calls from employees of companies who happen to be Hispanic and believe they are the victim of discrimination. They usually want to file a racial discrimination lawsuit but I have to tell them that in Illinois the only three categories of race are White, Black and Asian. Does this mean they are out of luck? The answer is no. They can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“) for discrimination based on Ancestry. They could also file based on Color or National Origin. So what are the differences of each category? Well, Ancestry refers to the nation, country, tribe or other identifiable group of people from which a person descends. This covers a great deal of items.

National Origin on the other hand is based on ethnicity or accent. And lastly Color refers to the color of a person’s skin. As you can see there is a great deal of overlap in all three categories. As an attorney that handles all types of discrimination cases at the IDHR, I can tell you that it is important to have someone with experience on your side. The Chicago office of the IDHR is a very busy place and you don’t want your case to get lost in the shuffle. If you believe you are the victim of discrimination and the boss is treating you different at work, call my office to protect your rights.

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Hispanic Workers Can Sue Under Ancestry Not Race

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The Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“) does not consider Hispanic to be a race for the purposes of filing a discrimination claim. The IDHR only considers three races, white, black and asian. The IDHR considers Hispanic people to fall into the white category and therefore in order to bring a discrimination claim you have to claim the discrimination is based on ancestry not race. So a racial discrimination can’t be filed for a Hispanic worker. I know this may sound like a minor detail but it is the law in Illinois. My Chicago office represents many hispanic workers and I file often with the IDHR.

It is very important to properly draft the complaint in such a way as to maximize your chances of success. In Chicago there are many cases that the IDHR has to deal with and the better drafted the charge, the better the chances of a smooth investigation. You goal is to maximize your chances of winning and to maximize the money you may receive. Call an experienced trial attorney who concentrates in employment law cases and get the most out of your case.

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In Illinois it is a violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act to discrimination against an employee based on their color, ancestry or national origin. Many times a person being discriminated against will not know which of the three apply. There are many nuances to how a claim should be drafted to include all three. The reason for the care in drafting is to include all three claims so that the employer can’t escape liability.

It is too bad that companies still have employee that are the victims of discrimination but it will only stop when the companies spend more money on training and properly screen employees. In Illinois the number of discrimination cases seems to be rising and the employees are currently under siege. It is very important to speak with an employment attorney to protect your rights.

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Integrated Broadband Services pays $60,000 to settle a national origin discrimination and racial discrimination lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) on behalf of a black female Tanzanian network analyst who was fired for leaving work 30 minutes early. To show discrimination the EEOC pointed out that a similarly situated white network analyst received only written discipline after leaving work two hours early and the white worker did it twice in one week.

Many times national origin discrimination can also include discrimination based on ancestry or citizenship status. Both of those categories go unreported many times but they are viable forms of discrimination. Along with the settlement amount the company agreed to terms that include additional training on discrimination and posting anti-discrimination notices.

“The EEOC filed this lawsuit because the difference in treatment between these employees was clear, and a woman lost her livelihood due to this discrimination,” said EEOC attorney Robert Dawkins