Articles Posted in Ethnicity / National Origin Discrimination

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question mark figureIf you’ve been a victim of workplace discrimination or harassment, there may be many things that may occur to you as responses to the harm you’ve suffered. One of these responses should not be to attempt to take on your employer in court and pursue litigation on your own. While you doubtlessly understand the facts of your case and how the illegal conduct harmed you, there is much more to pursuing a discrimination or harassment action than just those things. It is this “more” where having an experienced New Jersey discrimination attorney on your side can be enormously valuable to you and your case.

A couple of recent federal cases demonstrate this truth in clear and unfortunate detail. In one case, Hatem was a dockworker at a dairy. According to Hatem, he suffered frequent and severe harassment based upon his heritage and religion. Hatem, who was a Palestinian and a Muslim, allegedly received taunts calling him a terrorist, quizzing him regarding the location of his camel, and questioning why he went by the western nickname of “Freddie.” This harassment came not only from co-workers but from a supervisor as well, allegedly.

Hatem launched a religious and national origin discrimination lawsuit under Title VII. Hatem, however, decided to proceed without a lawyer. The dockworker never had the chance to prove that the discrimination he suffered met the standard for liability under Title VII. In fact, he never made it to trial. Why? He never managed to complete properly the process of serving notice of the lawsuit against his employer.

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Flag of PalestineThere may be various bases for asserting that you are entitled to pursue a federal employment discrimination case. Certainly, being an African-American or a person of Mexican origin can allow you to assert claims under Title VII. But what if you were subjected to discrimination because you are, say, Armenian…or Kurdish…or Palestinian? A recent case involving a New Jersey high school presented this type of issue for the federal courts here to decide. The case also highlights that a knowledgeable New Jersey national origin discrimination attorney can help you utilize the protections of Title VII to assert your rights to the fullest extent that the law allows.

The employee, Sireen, was a high school history teacher hired by a New Jersey public school district in January 2013 as a student teacher. Shortly thereafter, the school offered Sireen a full-time position.

Allegedly, the problems started soon after she started teaching full-time. Sireen showed her class a video featuring Pakistani activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai. The video had been recommended by another teacher (a white woman) who had showed it to her students. Allegedly, a parent complained to the principal about Sireen, and a supervisor told Sireen that she “could not teach current events in the same manner as her non-Arab, non-Palestinian, and non-Muslim colleagues.”

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