People at work or looking for work in Michigan are protected from discrimination on a number of different levels. One they may not know about is national origin discrimination. No matter where employees are from or where the employer thinks they are from, each employee must be treated in the same manner.

National origin discrimination can take on a number of forms. Employers cannot make hiring decisions based on national origin, and protection extends to choices about pay and promotions as well. Employers cannot even discriminate against someone because they are married to someone of a certain origin.

The anti-discrimination protections also extend to the work environment. Employees cannot be subjected to a pattern of teasing and bullying based on their national origin. Not every joke can become grounds for a lawsuit, but if the treatment is constant or crosses a line, it can be a basis for legal action.

National origin was made a protected right in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. The Department of Justice is the government agency tasked with enforcing this act. However, private plaintiffs may also file their own lawsuits if they have faced national origin discrimination in the workplace. If someone files a complaint about this type of discrimination, it is important to know that the employer cannot retaliate against them for raising the mater.

Many times, employees simply do not know how to handle a difficult situation on the job when they believe that discrimination may be a driving factor for what is happening. Those who are involved in a situation at work that could involve discrimination, or who feel that they did not receive a job due to discrimination, may want to contact an employment law attorney. The attorney may help the client explore their legal options, which might include filing a lawsuit.