Your Rights Against Workplace Discrimination and Harrassment FAQ

Can my employer refuse to promote me to a position that requires public speaking just because I have an accent?

Not unless your accent interferes with your ability to be understood. Because an employee's accent is often associated with his or her national origin, employment decisions based on accent are examined closely by courts to make sure they aren't discriminatory. If an employee's accent does not impair his or her ability to be understood, the employer may not make job decisions on that basis. For more information on fluency and language requirements, see Nolo's article Language and Accent Discrimination in the Workplace.

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