What is the Difference Between Race Discrimination and National Origin Discrimination?
Anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination based on both race and national origin or ethnicity. What is the difference?
For purposes of discrimination laws, race refers to skin color and/or membership in a group with common history- for example, Black, Native American, or Latino. National origin is about the country you or your ancestors came from. The two often overlap. If an employer discriminates against you because you are Latino and because you or your family come from Mexico, for example, this could be both race and national origin discrimination.
You could also be considered White in terms of race, but come from a foreign country and face discrimination based on accent or other stereotypes or assumptions about your country of origin.
We have also seen national origin discrimination among people who might be considered the same race, but who come from different countries with a history of animosity toward one another.
Learn more here about Massachusetts discrimination laws.
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