Articles Posted in National Origin

Published on:

Swissport Fueling, Inc. Settles National Origin Discrimination Lawsuit For $250,00

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Swissport Fueling, Inc., pays $250,000 to settle a national origin discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). According to published accounts, workers who were from various African nations, including Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone were subjected to unfair treatment because of their place of origin. The lawsuit alleges that a Swissport manager routinely called the African fuelers “monkeys.” Obviously, this would be an offensive comment and show the distain that the company had towards this group of workers.

When companies allow management to operate in this fashion, bad things happen. In this case, the company had to paid a great deal of money and ended up with a good amount of negative publicity. Management should always ensure that everyone has the proper training on how to treat fellow employees.

“It is against federal civil rights laws for an employer to single out any group, including the immigrant community, by subjecting it to a hostile work environment based upon its national origin, race, and color.” said EEOC Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill

by Peter M. LaSorsa
Posted in: and
Published on:
Updated:
Published on:

What Can I Do If My Co-Worker Make Fun Of My National Origin?

by Peter M. LaSorsa

So your co-workers found out you are from Iraq and they keep pestering you at work about it. You ask them to stop but they won’t. The nasty comments directed at your national origin are making it uncomfortable and are creating a hostile work environment. What, if anything, can you do? Well, you have rights at work, and those rights include being free from any form of discrimination. You should report this conduct to top management or human resources. Also, if you have a policy against discrimination, follow the policy for reporting the conduct.

You should also contact an employment lawyer who concentrates in national origin cases. He can advise you on how best to proceed. If the need arises, he can also file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“). The IDHR will conduct an investigation into the alleged conduct and allow you some relief. The most important thing to do is something. Don’t sit by and let this conduct continue.

Published on:

Mountaire Farms Inc. Settles Retaliation Lawsuit

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Mountaire Farms, Inc. pays $48,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) on behalf of Frantz Morette. According to published accounts, Morette began working as a translator for a group of Haitian workers. Morette complained repeatedly to his supervisors and the human resources department that the Haitian workers were being treated poorly by Mountaire Farms’ supervisors as compared to their non-Haitian coworkers. This type of complaint would be discrimination based on national origin. It is a violation of the law to treat one group of people different from others.

Morette told company management that supervisors often refused to allow the Haitian workers to take bathroom breaks while allowing non-Haitian workers to do so and refused to provide the Haitian workers with the training necessary for the higher-paying jobs at the facility. Morette continued to complain to management and a few days later, Morette was fired. It is also a violation of the law to take a negative job action against a person who complains of discrimination.

“It is of great concern to the EEOC when an employer fires an employee simply because he complained about unlawful conduct.” said EEOC Lynette A. Barnes

Published on:

EEOC Settles National Origin Discrimination Lawsuit For $334,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

PBM Graphics, Inc. pays $334,000 to settle a national origin discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employ­ment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). According to published accounts the company refused to place and/or assign non-Hispanic workers to its “core group” of regular temporary workers. Another words they were singling out workers based on their national origin. This would also be called reverse discrimination.

The EEOC alleged that from at least Jan. 1, 2003, to the present, PBM developed a “core group” of regular temporary workers. The temp­orary workers in the “core group” were told by the company to continue to come to work for PBM unless otherwise notified, unlike other temporary workers who worked for PBM only on an “as needed” basis. So if you were White or Black you were not given this great opportunity. Additionally, Hispanic workers were given more hours and therefore more pay. I am glad the EEOC hung in there and sought justice for the workers.

“We hope this lawsuit reminds employers that they cannot discriminate on the basis of national origin, regardless of the national origin of the perpetrators, victims or beneficiaries of the discrimin­ation.” said Lynette A. Barnes

by Peter M. LaSorsa
Posted in: and
Published on:
Updated:
Published on:

Hostile Work Environments Created By Sexual Harassment

by Peter M. LaSorsa

My Chicago offices gets calls all the time about hostile work environments. People will say the boss is yelling at her and they think this is creating a hostile work environment. This may be true but under the legal definition there is nothing you can do about it unless it is attributed to discrimination. So if you are being yelled at because you are rejecting sexual harassment advances that would be a legal hostile work environment. The same would be true if the boss is singling you out because you are a female or because of your national origin.

What you should do if you find yourself in this position is to speak with an employment lawyer and discuss your case. What you should not do is to immediately quit or to do anything which can get yourself fired. Remember if you give the company a legitimate reason to fire you it will limit any damages you may have. Sexual harassment is very prevalent in the workforce and you have rights at work. Make sure you protect yourself and exercise your right to a harassment free workplace.

Published on:

Chicago Discrimination Cases Based On Citizenship

by Peter M. LaSorsa

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.

Published on:

A Hampton Inn Franchise Pays $85,000 To Settle A Discrimination Lawsuit

by Peter M. LaSorsa

A Hampton Inn owned and operated by Century Shree Corporation, pays $85,000 to settle a national origin and racial discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). According to published accounts the company illegally terminated employees beginning in August 2009 because of their race, Caucasian, and national origin, non-Hispanic. You don’t really see this type of discrimination case very often.

An entire class of employees, including Wendy Buckley, Ashlee Flannery and Dewetta McKnight, were discharged from the Craig Hampton Inn because management of the company subscribed to stereotypes that white or non-Hispanic workers were indolent. This is sometime referred to reverse discrimination because traditional discrimination involved minorities being the victims of discriminatory conduct. This case highlights that white workers have protection under the discrimination laws in Illinois and under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“An employer cannot discharge or refuse to hire an individual based on derogatory stereotypical beliefs about that person’s race or national origin.” said EEOC attorney Mary Jo O’Neill

by Peter M. LaSorsa
Posted in: , and Racial Discrimination
Published on:
Updated:
Published on:

Delano Regional Medical Centers Pays $975,000 To Settle A Discrimination Lawsuit

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Delano Regional Medical Center (“DRMC“) pays $975,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) on behalf of a class of approximately 70 Filipino-American hospital workers. When you get this large a number of people involved in a settlement the numbers start to get big. The lawsuit was based on national origin and the discrimination occured in the highest levels of management.

According to published accounts Filipino-American hospital workers, mostly nursing staff, alleged that they were the targets of harassing comments, undue scrutiny and discipline particularly when speaking with a Filipino accent or in Filipino languages. Staff constantly made fun of their accents, ordering them to speak English even when they were already speaking in English. Some Filipino-American workers endured humiliating threats of arrest if they did not speak English and were told to go back to the Philippines.

This created a hostile work environment for the workers. To make matters worse, there was a meeting in which the chief executive officer and hospital management called only Filipino-American staff to a meeting and threatened them about the consequences of not complying with the hospital’s English-only language policy. These crazy managers even threated to install surveillance equipment to monitor their conversations. Talk about some real odd ducks. These people sound like they need their head examined.

“Employees should never be targeted because of their national origin or language.” said EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez

Continue reading

Published on:

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

by Peter M. LaSorsa

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

by Peter M. LaSorsa
Posted in: , , and Racial Discrimination
Published on:
Updated:
Published on:

Morningside House Settles Religious Discrimination Case For $25,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

In an unusual case, Morningside House pays $25,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit. This lawsuit was the result of a Muslin not removing her hijab and therefore not getting hired for the job. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). This could have also been a lawsuit involving national origin discrimination because of the what company did, but because the hijab is part of a religious practice, it fell under religious discrimination. In Illinois you could also file with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“) for both national origin and religious discrimination.

According to published accounts the director of health and wellness asked Khadijah Salim if she would be willing to remove her hijab if she were hired. The director expressed concerns that if she were hired, the hijab may interfere with her ability to work as a certified nursing assistant. However, Salim said she had worn her hijab throughout her nursing training, which included working in the operating room, and it had never interfered with her ability to perform her duties. This would indicate that there wasn’t a problem with wearing the hijab. As you can guess she wasn’t hired and the discrimination lawsuit was filed. It seems to me there was a different issue involving her being a Muslim.

“In this case, there was no undue hardship to the employer — just an apparent overreaction to a reasonable request because of myths and stereotypes about a religion,” said EEOC Attorney Debra M. Lawrence.