Wyoming National Origin Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Wyoming National Origin Discrimination: What you need to know

The Wyoming Fair Employment Practices Act of 1965 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of national origin or ancestry (WY Stat. Sec. 27-9-101 et seq.). The law applies to all public employers and private employers with two or more employees. National origin or ancestry generally refers to an individual's or ancestor's place of birth. Under the state law, it is an unlawful employment practice to:
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• Refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate with respect to an individual's compensation or terms and conditions of employment.
• Retaliate against any individual who has made a complaint or assisted in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the state law.
• Publish an advertisement for employment indicating a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on national origin, unless it is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a supervisor's remarks about speaking "American" made contemporaneously with a warning and termination decision can constitute evidence of discriminatory intent (Avila v. Jostens, Inc., 316 Fed.Appx. 826 (10th Cir. 2009)). In this case, the employee's native language was Spanish, and he had a limited understanding of English. During a disciplinary meeting with the employee, the supervisor allegedly told the employee's interpreter to be quiet and told the employee to speak "American." The employee was fired a few months later and brought a lawsuit alleging national origin discrimination. The employer claimed the employee was fired for poor job performance, and the district court granted summary judgment to the employer. However, the appeals court reversed and ruled that the supervisor's ...

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