Articles Posted in gender discrimination

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

Gender discrimination can occur in all industries, at all education levels and all income tiers. Recently, a trio of female physicians in North Carolina filed a gender discrimination lawsuit alleging the male doctors within their health system were paid substantially more than them, despite comparative levels of education, experience and expertise. doctor

Also sometimes referred to as “sex-based discrimination,” it occurs when an employee is treated differently due to their gender. Title VII prohibits discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment – including hiring, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, firings and fringe benefits. Whether directed at male or female employees, it’s illegal when it has a negative impact on a person’s employment and it’s not job-related or necessary to the operation of the business.

The North Carolina case involves three female doctor plaintiffs who allege their male counterparts are paid substantially more money for doing the exact same work.  Continue reading

California has long been a pioneer of gender rights in the workplace. Since 2011, gender expression and gender identity have been protected classes under California’s anti-discrimination law.  And on July 1, 2017, new employment protections for transgender and gender-nonconforming employees took effect in California. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing now enforces regulations which expand protections for gender identity and gender expression in the workplace. According to The National Law Review, the following provisions are now effective:

Employment discrimination lawyers

  • Gender identity has been expanded to include those employees who are transitioning. Activities during the transition phase are protected, such as: changes in name or pronoun usage; use of bathroom facilities; and medical procedures associated with a transition (such as hormone therapy or surgeries). Employers may not discriminate against transitioning employees for engaging in any of these activities, or other actions related to the transition.
  • Employers may not inquire about, or request documentation about, an employee’s gender, gender expression, or gender identity. Employers can also not request that employees provide such information unless it is on a voluntary basis for record keeping purposes.
  • Single-occupancy bathroom facilities under an employer’s control must be labeled with gender neutral terms (such as “unisex”, “gender neutral”, or “all gender restroom”). Employees must be allowed to use the facilities which correspond to their gender identity, not the gender assigned to them at birth.
  • Employees must be allowed to carry out job duties which correspond with their gender expression or gender identity – not the gender assigned to them at birth.

The Press-Enterprise also notes that employers cannot impose any standards of grooming, dress, or appearance which are inconsistent with an employee’s gender identity.  

Continue reading

Frustrated with stagnant negotiations with city leaders, the teachers’ union in Boston is accusing the city of gender discrimination and bias. teacher

The union is comprised mostly of women, and talks regarding a new contract between the union and the city have been stalled for a good year now. The president of the union noted that more than three-fourths of the city’s teachers are women, and the city has repeatedly treated them poorly and with disrespect. He asserted that there was “little doubt” that if the union were male-dominated rather than female-dominated that a contract would have been settled long ago.

According to The Boston Globe, city spokespersons declined to respond to allegations of gender discrimination, except to say that conversations between the two sides are still underway and that the city “hopes” for a faster resolution that will ultimately help to best serve the students in the district. Continue reading