National Origin Discrimination
Both the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 make it illegal for an employer to discriminate against employees based on national origin. Although closely related to race discrimination, national origin discrimination refers to treating an individual adversely because he or she is from a certain country or part of the world, or because he or she appears, or seems to be of a certain ethnic background.
Discrimination on the basis of accent is also generally prohibited under law. An employment decision based solely on an employee or applicant's accent is illegal unless the accent critically interferes with the employee's job performance.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) also makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate with respect to hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, based upon an individual's citizenship or immigration status. The law also prohibits employers from hiring only U.S citizens or lawful permanent residents unless it is required by state, federal or local law. Furthermore, an employment application may not ask an applicant if he/she is a United States citizen, only whether that individual is authorized to work in the United States.