Discrimination Against Arabs

You are an American of Arab origin. You are a conscientious and dedicated worker. Your New York City employer does not see it that way because your employer is prejudiced against Arabs. Ever since 9/11, there has been increasing discrimination in the workplace against Arabs. You are called a “terrorist” or some other derogatory and hurtful names. You are not hired, or you are abused or fired because you are of Arab national origin. You are told you don’t have the “right look”. Maybe you are subject to physical violence. You are shocked by the level of animosity against you, when you have done nothing to deserve it. You should not have to live in fear in the land of freedom just because you come from a country in the Middle East.

Arabs are not new to New York City, and go as far back as the 1880s. The New York City area contains the largest concentration of Arab Americans in America.

Americans of Arab origin are entitled, as are folks who come from other areas of the world, to be free from discrimination because you, or your family, have come from another country.  National origin includes the country you come from, and characteristics such as a common language, culture, and ancestry. This may also include your race or religion.  You cannot be discriminated in hiring, promotion, transfer, wage and benefits, training, discipline, or firing – just because you are an Arab.

The purpose of discrimination laws in the workplace is to promote multiculturalism and diversity. Many employers are wary of or and hostile to Arabs just because they don’t understand you as an individual, and judge you harshly because of unwarranted negative stereotypes that may have of Arabs as a group.  The New York City work force has always been, and is increasingly, diverse, composed of many different cultures and backgrounds. Your employer may not realize the benefits of a diverse work force, and may not understand or ignore the fact that national origin discrimination is in violation of law. In addition, you cannot be discriminated against because you associate with people of a particular national origin, for example, you may not be Arab yourself, but married to an Arab. Your employer needs to evaluate you based on your qualities as an individual worker, not on what he or she may think about the group that you belong to, or on unwarranted negative stereotypes.

Nor can your New York employer subject you to a hostile environment because of the fact that you are an Arab. Calling you derogatory, hurtful names or threatening you because of the fact that you are an Arab is against the law in New York State and New York City.

You may be fearful of letting your employer know that you are being discriminated against based on the fact that you are an Arab. However, if you do raise the issue of discrimination with your employer, you cannot be subject to retaliation.

Contact us online or call us at (212) 949-1001 so that we can review if your New York City employer has subjected you to discrimination because you are of Arab national origin in violation of law in New York State or New York City.

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