Is illegal to not hire because of my accent? 9 Answers as of September 03, 2013

I went to an interview and the office manager told me that I look like smart women and I know what I'm taking about but the only problem is my accent.

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The Niskar Law Firm, PLLC
The Niskar Law Firm, PLLC | Joey Niskar
It is illegal under federal law for a prospective employer to discriminate against you on the basis of national origin. Some states have laws which similarly prohibit discrimination on the basis of national origin. Some courts have held that discrimination on the basis of a person's foreign accent is evidence of national origin discrimination. See /In re Rodriguez/, 487 F.3d. 1001, 1008-1009 (6th Cir. 2007). ** You should consult with an attorney who concentrates his/her practice on the handling of employment discrimination claims.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/3/2013
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
This depends on whether your accent could interfere with your ability to perform your job duties. For example, if you were required to communicate with the public, and if you have a heavy accent, an employer could reasonably conclude that you are not qualified for the position. If there is a good faith business justification, an employer can reject a job applicant because of her accent. On the other hand, if your employer is using this as a pretext for discrimination, you might have a claim for discrimination on grounds of race or ethnicity. The details matter here-you need to retain and meet with legal counsel to ascertain whether you have an valid claims. This will be a major uphill battle for you-as there are many circumstances in which it is legitimate for an employer to reject a candidate due to language problems or accents.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/27/2013
Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
Not if being understood by others is a necessary requirement of the job.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 8/27/2013
KEYL ADR Services, LLC | Mark D. Keyl
MS is an employee at will State, which means that you can not be hired for any reason that is not discriminatory. In this case, the employer thinks your accent would be a detriment to your job performance.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 8/26/2013
Law Offce of Richard N. Grey | Richard N. Grey
Yes, this would be national origin discrimination.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/26/2013
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