Articles Posted in gender discrimination

New Hampshire has joined California in protecting residents from gender identity discrimination with the passing of House Bill 1319, which gender discriminationwas signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu. The bill added gender discrimination to the state’s current civil rights statute, which already includes age, sex, religious creed, race, color, national origin, physical or mental disability, familial status, and sexual orientation. By doing so, the updated law would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in regards to housing, employment, and public accommodations.

 According to a report from New Hampshire Union Leader, the bill received support not only from the governor and state legislature, but also the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Commission, several health establishments, and a New Hampshire police chief association.

Gender identity primarily involves giving people the freedom to express their gender however they see fit, regardless of the sex they were assigned at birth. Transgender people, for example, would benefit from such protections. In recent years some have argued that gender identity discrimination falls under sex discrimination, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and former Attorney General Eric Holder. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, however, has attempted to end this line of thinking. He released a memo last fall that expressly excluded gender identity from sex discrimination protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A spokesperson from the Justice Department claimed any attempts to extend those protections was an exaggeration of the laws Congress put in place. This has turned gender into a partisan issue with transgender citizens in the crosshairs. Continue reading

In what unfortunately is an unsurprising trend, the percentage of female coaches for NCAA sports teams is decreasing, even for women’s sex discriminationteams. According to a report from KCUR, women are actually losing ground over their male counterparts in coaching positions, despite more equal rights awareness and protections than ever.

To illustrate the trend, 20 percent of softball coaches were men in 1982 at the time of the first Women’s College World Series. The eight teams who played in the championships that year were all coached by women. Today, Division I softball programs have expanded greatly, and so has the percentage of men coaching those teams, up to 35 percent.

It’s not just softball that’s affected. In 1972 more than 90 percent of all collegiate teams were coached by women. Now it’s half, according to NCAA Champion Magazine. The KCUR report showed that of Division I volleyball teams, a championship title victor has never been coached by a woman, and in women’s basketball only four of the Sweet 16 teams last year were coached by women. This isn’t even to address the obvious lack of women coaching men’s teams. Women’s sports in general have increased in respect and popularity, making coaching opportunities more appealing to men, who previously were less interested in the roles. Continue reading

As the #MeToo movement has proven, it’s tough being a woman in the workplace, particularly working in a male-dominated field. Evenage discrimination tougher, it seems, is the discrimination women face as they get older and try to maintain their standing in their professional careers. Many face a different set of standards as they age than their male counterparts, according to an examination by Forbes. Men’s age is often seen as a symbol of experience, status, wisdom, and leadership capabilities. Even if they lack the modern skills some younger people bring to the workforce, they are typically valued for the knowledge they can share with those inexperienced in the field. For women, though, their age can be construed as a sign that they are outdated, out-of-touch, and lacking technical abilities. Sadly, physical appearance is frequently a factor is these discriminatory practices, with men’s appearances being viewed more favorably as they age.

Ageism and sexism run deep in our society, so some might not even be aware they are mentally perceiving their employees differently. But hidden biases are not an excuse to give employees unequal treatment. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Sec. 623 clearly states it is unlawful to fail or refuse to hire someone because of their age, or to discriminate in any way including compensation or terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The law also prohibits classifying or segregating an employee in such a way that deprives them of opportunities other employees enjoy as a result of his or her age. Reduction of wages due to a person’s age is also illegal. Of course consideration of a person’s sex was already prohibited in workplace hiring, firing, and promotion matters based on Title VII of the civil rights Act of 1964.

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Fair pay has been a long and hard fought battle, and it’s not over yet. For instance, the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau reported in 2015, the gender earnings ratio (women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s) for full-time, year-round workers was 79.6 percent (up from 60.2 percent in 1980). White, non-Hispanic women as well as Asian women out-earn Black and Hispanic women.

A bill recently introduced in the California State Senate, ifrace discrimination passed, will continue to push even further to equality. SB-1284 was recently introduced by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) with the intent of more closely monitoring pay data at companies with 100 or more employees, and theoretically keeping companies more accountable for disparate wages

The bill would establish an annual check-in in which California incorporated employers that fit the total employee requirements would submit a pay data report to the Department of Industrial Relations. The department operates within the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and is designed to “foster, promote, and develop the wage earners of California, to improve their working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employment.” The report submission period would happen every September beginning in 2019. Continue reading

Gender equality in the workplace has been a long and hard-fought struggle, and it’s not over yet. Recently, a pay equity bill passed in Washington state that will make it more clear what constitutes wage and gender discrimination, ultimately fortifying employee rights. gender discrimination

HB 1506 updates a  75-year-old wage law making it a misdemeanor to discriminate based on gender, according to a report from KING 5 News. This measure will not only make it illegal to discriminate based on gender, but levelthe playing field for all employees. This is achieved in two substantial ways.

First, the measure defines what it means for “similarly employed” workers to receive equal compensation. As our employment attorneys can explain, many companies skirt the issue of “equal pay for equal work” by giving employees different titles, even though the tasks and work load are similar. In the past, employers could argue that because the jobs technically weren’t the same, wage comparisons were not relevant. By moving the goalpost to include “similarly employed” workers as deserving equal pay, Washington has removed this loophole and made sure that those with similar responsibilities and skills remain on a level playing field. Continue reading

Last year, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing put in place new regulations to protect employees from discrimination for gender transgender discriminationidentity and gender expression in the workplace, as outlined in the CA Code of Regulations, Title 2, sections 11030, 11031, and 11034. We are proud that California has always been on the forefront of such protections and our legal team continues to push for rights of groups vulnerable to workplace discrimination.

However, we know many people throughout the country remain a target for gender expression discrimination.

The attention of the nation is currently on Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which recently was sued by a transgender woman, who alleges she was fired after complaining to management about harassment she said she experienced on the job. She also filed charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

According to an article from Reuters, plaintiff worked for 11 years at a Sam’s Club (owned by Wal-Mart) in North Carolina. She claims to have endured harassment in her supervisor position in the company, alleging employees called her numerous slurs and her boss made unwanted physical advances. She alleges she was fired in 2015 after she complained about the hostile work environment, which she said had been escalating for a number of years since she began her female gender expression in 2008. Continue reading

This past year has proven that even highly respected institutions are not immune from perpetuating gender discrimination in the workplace. workplace gender discrimination

This particular conflict began with three lawsuits in the Superior Court of California County of San Diego separately filed last summer by female professors at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. Plaintiffs describe alleged systemic discrimination against women in the areas of pay, job promotions and access to opportunities.

These lawsuits have led to a professor at the institute being put on temporary leave of his job as editor of the renowned Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal as of Jan. 1. He was asked to step aside by the NAS Council.

The professor was named in one of the lawsuits (Lunblad v. Salk Institute for Biological Studies) as someone at Salk who made it challenging for women to succeed. For his part, he has denied culpability and says the lawsuits have nothing to do with his work at the journal, according to an article from The San Diego Union Tribune. Continue reading

While we can all hope that in 2017, in a state like California, we are beyond the days when workers have to worry about racial discrimination while working at a major corporation, if recent allegations are true, it seems there is still a long way to go until all workers get the respect and dignity they deserve. According to a recent news article from U.S. News & World Report, a former employee of a multinational tech firm that manufactures electric vehicles has alleged he was called the n-word while on the job.  He also alleged in his employment discrimination lawsuit that his place of employment was a “hotbed for racist behavior.”

California whistleblower lawyersIn this recently-filed complaint, the plaintiff has alleged while he was working on the assembly line, both supervisors and other workers repeatedly used racial slurs when speaking about him or to him, as well other black employees.  He said that he made a formal report to human resources, but there was never any investigation conducted or any further action taken.  He further alleged that he was told to have a thicker skin about the racial slurs.  He is not the only employee making these allegations since there was a complaint filed several months ago in which three black employees made similar allegations against the company. Continue reading

Recently, California enacted legislation designed to remove some of the traditional barriers to employment.  The new law bans most employers from asking about criminal history and past salary history in an initial application.  Once an applicant has been offered a position, a criminal background check may be performed for certain occupations, but the idea behind the law is to put all applicants on equal footing during the hiring process.  It is far too easy for an employer to skip over an applicant with a criminal history.  The ban on asking about salary history is designed to require employers to make a salary offer based upon the demands of the position and the strength of the applicant. If the prospective employer knows how much an applicant was making before, they would know the base amount an employee took in the past and this would let them make a lower offer in many cases.

employment law attorneysAs is discussed in a recent article from the Los Angeles Times, that stated reason for banning asking  about salary history, among others, is to narrow the gender gap in pay.  To get an idea of the actual pay gender gap, we can look to data from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research which shows that while women make up nearly half of the entire workforce, the gap is still very much in existence and women earn on average, 80 cents on the dollar as compared to a man in the same or similar job.  Continue reading

Recently, Google has been the target of a wide variety of discrimination lawsuits. From issues of political speech raised by the infamous “anti-diversity manifesto” to the gender issues which plague the technology and venture capital sectors, the tech giant is facing the potential of significant civil liability for violations of state and federal employment law. According to Reuters, Google is also facing an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor into gender discrimination in its pay practices. Now, a new lawsuit alleging gender bias in pay and promotions could be the latest – and greatest – of Google’s legal woes. Continue reading