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National Origin / Ancestry

Have you been treated differently at work because of your heritage?

Missouri Human Rights Act

Individuals are protected under the Missouri Human Rights Act from being discriminated against based on their national origin and/or ancestry.* A person is the victim of workplace discrimination if, because of their national origin/ancestry, they have been treated less favorably because they come from a particular place, because of their ethnicity or accent, or because it is believed that they have a particular ethnic background. National origin/ancestry discrimination also means treating someone less favorably because of marriage or other association with someone of a particular nationality or ethnicity.

The Act prohibits:

  • Any employment decision, including recruitment, hiring, and firing or layoffs, based on national origin or ancestry.
  • Any decision regarding provision of goods or services by a place of public accommodations, including entry, provision of goods or services, or the terms and conditions of goods and services, based on national origin or ancestry.
  • Offensive conduct, such as ethnic slurs, that creates a hostile environment based on national origin or ancestry. Employers, housing providers and places of public accommodations are required to take appropriate steps to prevent and correct unlawful harassment and discrimination. Likewise, employees and customers are responsible for reporting harassment and discrimination at an early stage to prevent its escalation.

Discrimination against individuals in the state of Missouri based on their national origin or ancestry, regardless of citizenship, is prohibited; however, those not in this country legally may have difficulties obtaining relief.

*The Missouri Human Rights Act applies only to those employers with 6 or more employees.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

National origin discrimination involves treating people (applicants or employees) unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background (even if they are not).** Can also include people being treated unfavorably for being married to or associated with someone of a certain national origin.

Federal law also makes it unlawful to harass a person because of his or her national origin; which can include, for example, offensive or derogatory remarks about a person's national origin, accent or ethnicity.

**Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, applies only to employers with 15 or more employees who worked for the company for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks (in this year or last).

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