When a warehouse in Illinois employing some 600 workers was bought out by a giant retailer, employees were informed they would get raises and a sizable boost in benefits. Instead, some 200 of them – all African Americans, all with criminal histories – were fired. Now, many are alleging racial discrimination by their new employer.
Some of these individuals had worked years at the facility, their felony backgrounds not having been an issue previously. They are suing for racial discrimination in employment.
Many of those with felony convictions are confused about their employment rights. Some applicants and employees assume that such action is allowed and part of their “punishment.” Although it is true that some adverse treatment against applicants in hiring or in reorganization. What is not lawful, per Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is disparate treatment or impact to individuals in a protected class using the felony conviction as a vehicle.
When it comes to disability discrimination in the workplace, many presume it is for the obvious or perceived disabilities – a genetic condition like Down syndrome or a traumatic injury that leaves one scarred or with lower physical capacity. Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyers, however, know that invisible disabilities can affect individuals too.
Workplace discrimination for these conditions usually comes in the form of assumptions of one’s ability based on stigma or the failure to understand why certain conditions require the treatment they do.
Some of the workplace disability cases our employment attorneys have taken on include:
- Mild traumatic brain injuries
- Attention hyperactivity disorder
- High-functioning autism
- Multiple sclerosis
- Heart problems
Workers with disabilities are protected against workplace discrimination by two primary federal laws: The Americans With Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In order to be covered by these protections, workers are required to disclose their disabilities, which we realize can be a tough decision. The truth of the matter is, discrimination often follows disclosure.
Invisible disability can impact both a person’s employment and financial future. Continue reading
As noted by the California Department of Industrial Relations, the rate of overtime pay is 1.5 times one’s normal wages for every hour over 40, or all hours in excess of 8 in a given workday. Any hours in excess of 12 in a given workday must be paid at double the rate. With very few exceptions (based on the size of the company and traits of the industry) these are the rules.
California Wage Theft Alleged by Grocery Store Worker
Unfortunately, as our Orange County employment attorneys know, far too many employers skirt these rules. A wage and hour lawsuit recently filed against a grocery store chain in Berkley alleges the company systematically denied at least 50 of its workers fair overtime wages. The Daily Californian reports the worker has sought class action status for his claim, alleging numerous wage-and-hour law violations. Continue reading
As reported by CNet.com, one worker said she was fired just two months after she reported her pregnancy to her bosses, who in the interim complained about her increased bathroom breaks and slowed pace over the course of subsequent 10-hour shifts.
Our pregnancy discrimination attorneys in San Bernardino have learned approximately half-a-dozen women are suing the technology giant, claiming pregnancy discrimination. Continue reading
A woman who served as chief of police in Baldwin Park, about 20 minutes outside of Los Angeles, has been awarded $7 million in a California race and gender discrimination employment lawsuit filed five years ago. The case was among the few gender discrimination claims in California to actually go to a jury trial.
Gender Discrimination in Police Departments
Federal law prohibits harassment on the basis of a person’s gender. This includes sexual harassment, of course, but also harassing a woman or making comments about females generally, as noted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Individuals of either gender can be either victim or harasser, and those involved can be supervisors, co-workers or clients/customers.
Although the law doesn’t bar “simple teasing,” isolated incidents of minimal seriousness and offhand comments, it’s illegal when it’s so severe or frequent that it creates an offensive and hostile work environment OR when the result is an adverse employment action, such as demotion or termination. Continue reading
Female bus drivers who say they were discriminated against for their pregnancies by their California employer the transit authority in California, are suing the agency, saying they were:
- Exposed to carbon monoxide fumes;
- Not given accommodation for lactation (forcing them to drive while they were uncomfortably engorged);
- Refused reasonable modifications and arrangements that caused them physical stress, exhaustion and unplanned, unpaid leave that left them without health insurance coverage.
The four women say this treatment by the Northern California provider is in direct violation of the state’s fair employment housing act, which mandates reasonable accommodations for those enduring pregnancy-related disabilities – just as the companies would accommodate a worker with disabilities. The transit authority, they allege, made work life difficult for pregnant employees, and they are seeking to establish class action status.
What is Pregnancy Discrimination in California?
Older workers are the fastest-growing group of Americans – and also some of the most vulnerable to adverse action on the basis of their age, which is a protected status under state and federal civil rights law. As age discrimination lawyers can explain, the law protects workers from age-based bias starting at age 40, but those over 65 are the most at-risk.
These individuals in decades past did not continue their careers much beyond this time, if at all, but that’s been changing. Reasons for this include:
- Wage growth stagnation
- Disappearing pensions
- Delaying claims to Social Security benefits to maximize payouts
- Longer lifespans
- Not having much of a retirement to speak of or fearing it will run out way too soon
A survey conducted last year by Gallop found that more than 40 percent expect to work beyond age 65. That’s a sizable uptick since 2004, when 26 percent answered the same, and almost quadruple what it was in 1995. It’s likely to continue this upward trajectory. Continue reading
California lawmakers are mulling the possibility of a bill that would protect students and workers from discrimination based on the style of one’s natural hair, including braids, afros and twists. The CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) would add hairstyle and texture associate with race to anti-discrimination laws in the state.
The measure, which was passed by the state Senate, now faces challenge, will now be considered by the state Assembly. The sponsor of the bill was quoted as saying that dress codes effectively banning “kinky” hair penalize African Americans for their naturally-occurring hair texture. Many black individuals – women in particular – have spent a great deal of money on chemical treatments that are both harsh and damaging in order to fit prescribed Eurocentric standard for what “professional” hair looks like.
Los Angeles race discrimination attorneys know that people who are black – as both employees and applicants – have been denied employment and promotion and even fired for the way they chose to wear their hair. Black children in schools have been made to feel embarrassed and ashamed because their natural hair was considered “unruly” or some kind of a “distraction to others.” Continue reading
California is known for its progressive stances on a myriad of issues, including civil rights of LGBTQ individuals. That doesn’t mean they don’t face down discrimination at work or everyday life. What it does mean, though, is that workers LGBTQ workers can successfully fight back on such injustices, a goal to which our LGBTQ employment discrimination attorneys in Los Angeles are committed.
Recently in Hesperia, a teacher was awarded a significant financial settlement after she was allegedly retaliated against with termination for helping LGBTQ students blow the whistle on their mistreatment by school administrators. The former high school English teacher was awarded an $850,000 settlement – and a promise to improve school policies.
The case was filed in 2015, when the ACLU of Southern California contacted the district with allegations of a hostile learning environment for gay and lesbian students. The district has since agreed to review and alter its policies, mandating administrators and staff undergo training on discrimination and clarifying its anti-discrimination procedures and policies. Continue reading