Articles Posted in race discrimination

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. racial discrimination Los Angeles

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

It is illegal – in California and across the U.S., per the EEOC –  to discriminate against a job applicant based on their race, color, religion, gender (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy) national origin, age (over 40), disability or genetic information. Yet one of the most frequently-used forums to lure new hires has essentially been facilitating just that, according to critics and a few employment lawsuits filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Communication Workers of America. Los Angeles employment discrimination attorney

Social media giant Facebook has faced years of criticism that it allowed companies advertising job listings to use key categories allowing employers to cherry-pick who their ads would be shown to based on age group, gender and race. The New York Times now reports Facebook has agreed it will stop doing this.

It’s not just prospective employees that have been complaining either. Those advertising credit and housing have also been allowed to screen their ads so that they would only show to a certain subset of social media users. (Housing and credit are also regulated by federal anti-discrimination laws that bar selection of applicants on such bases.) Continue reading

In order to be successful in claiming employment discrimination in California, employees must first assert they are part of a protected class that received unfair treatment. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains that to discriminate means to treat someone less favorably and disparately, with federal protections extending to individuals on the basis of gender, religion, color, race, national origin, disability or age (over 40). In California, unlawful practices spelled out by the Fair Employment and Housing Act 12940 outlines protections for these classes, but also for:

  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Gender identity/gender expression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Military or veteran statusemployment discrimination attorney Los Angeles

Part of the reason California’s additional protected classes matter is they go farther than federal law, giving unfairly-treated employees more options to pursue action.

As Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys can explain, “protected classes” aren’t merely limited to minorities. But employment discrimination is often subtle – and doesn’t necessarily need to actually be a part of a protected class in order to be protected. Discrimination based on the perception of belonging or association with others in these classes can be actionable in California employment discrimination cases too.

Perceived Protected Class Employment Discrimination Continue reading

Los Angeles racial discrimination attorneys know that “black hair discrimination” is real. But is it illegal? The question that gets to the core of federal anti-discrimination law is how do we define discrimination in employment on the basis of race? But Los Angeles racial discrimination lawyers know that when the U.S. Supreme Court had the opportunity recently to determine whether one’s styling of natural hair could be considered a means of racial discrimination, it declined, allowed the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals 2017 ruling to stand.hair discrimination Los Angeles attorney

In that case, EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions, plaintiff, a black woman who wore her hair in dreadlocks, applied for a job at a call center, one in which no direct public contact would be required. Nonetheless, the company told the woman she would need to cut her dreadlocks because the company grooming policy prohibited “excessive hairstyles or unusual colors.” The applicant refused to cut her hair, the job offer was rescinded and she sued for racial discrimination in employment. The appellate panel, ruling in the employer’s favor, decided that protections under federal Title VII doesn’t extend to one’s hairstyle, which the court held is associated with culture and other traits as opposed to the “immutable physical characteristic” by which race is defined. The court did question why the EEOC didn’t pursue this as a disparate action claim (i.e., the policy may be race-neutral, but can have a discriminatory impact on a protected individual or group of people). That leaves the door open for the possibility that a successful claim within that circuit could be pursued.

The 11th Circuit’s ruling also appears to directly contradict the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1989 decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, in which the court ruled federal civil rights law barred discrimination on the basis of stereotypes – regardless of whether the stereotype in question involves a trait that is immutable. (That case specifically dealt with gender discrimination and a woman denied upward professional mobility for – in the employer’s view – not wearing enough makeup or walking/talking more femininely. The court held the policy wan’t a legitimately non-discriminatory basis on which to deny plaintiff a promotion, but rather a pretext that disguised gender discrimination.) Continue reading

A California racial discrimination lawsuit alleges wrongful termination after a public service bus driver was placed on leave and then fired soon after filing a grievance against a passenger who reportedly made violent, racist statement toward the driver.racial discrimination employment attorney

Similar cases have been cropping up across the country, calling into question the age-old adage, “The customer is always right.” But if the customer is sexist or racist or abusive or violent, Orange County employment attorneys know companies have a legal responsibility to protect their employees from a toxic work environment. That include discriminatory actions of customers that go unchecked.

Another alleged case out of New York involved a large chain store worker and “cashier of the month” (who is also black) was fired for defending himself when a customer (upset for being told to leash his dog) told him he belonged in the ghetto, wouldn’t have a job if not for the current president, swore at the employee and called the former president a Muslim. The worker responded by saying the customer wouldn’t be speaking to him that way if they weren’t at his place of employment. The company said his firing was the result of the worker’s “failure to disengage and alert management about a customer confrontation.” However, a few days after The Washington Post published a story, the company backtracked and said they’d rescind the termination and offer back pay. But the worker didn’t want it, saying the environment at the company had become toxic. It’s also plausible he’ll receive more in a racial discrimination employment lawsuit. Continue reading

A high-profile federal lawsuit alleges Harvard discrimination against Asian Americans students may allow an opening for a conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court to strike down affirmative action. The legal strategist who filed the lawsuit on behalf of those students oversees a group that is expressly anti-affirmative action. On behalf of the students, he asserts the Ivy League schools discriminate against Asian American students by capping the number of admissions of these students (which may include those who are Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander).racial discrimination

Proponents of affirmative action policies say race-conscious admission and hiring is necessary for all students of color – including Asian Americans – in order to fight back against long-held inequality in higher education and the job market.

Plaintiffs are alleging that the so-called “model minority myth,” which holds Asian Americans to be overwhelmingly successful, both in academics and professionally, is harming them in this instance and beyond. They argue that Asian American students do have overall better academic performances, but are rejected for the purpose of racial balancing by the school in order to admit black, white and Latina/ Latino students who are less qualified. Furthermore, not all Asian Americans fit this “model minority” stereotype, which obscures the fact that there are very low graduation rates among some ethnic subgroups of Asian Americans, including those who identify as Vietnamese, Hmong, Bhutanese, Bangladeshi, Burmese, Filipino, Southeast Asians and Cambodian Americans. Meanwhile, Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean Americans enroll and graduate at much higher rates. Continue reading

A U.S. District Court in Los Angeles has awarded $350,000 to a plaintiff in a racial discrimination lawsuit, finding an airplane manufacturer fostered a hostile work environment and failed to prevent race-based harassment and further was negligent in its hiring, supervision and retention of employees who committed such acts. Although the company, Boeing, denies the allegations and is weighing its options to appeal the verdict, five similar lawsuits against the company are pending – each alleging racial discrimination. racial discrimination lawyer

As detailed by The Press-Telegram, one of the incidents highlighted in the case at trial occurred at a workroom table at a facility in El Segundo, where a white co-worker tied a noose with a strand of rope and then tossed it to the plaintiff seated nearby. Plaintiff, who is black, caught it. He would later say he felt directly threatened, given U.S. history involving the lynching of African Americans. Another time, he said the same co-worker “joked” more than once about plaintiff being at the zoo for a “family reunion.” Once, while working on a top-secret security clearance project building satellites for the U.S. government, he said his colleagues nicknamed him after a pet chimpanzee. He was later humiliated to learn someone had put a piece of tape on his back with the offensive nickname on it – and that he’d walked around with it for hours without anyone telling him.

He and other plaintiffs said they feared (and still do) the possibility of retaliation.  Continue reading

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

In a climate where claims of sexual harassment are continually coming to the surface and stories of police wrongdoing are constantly in the news, it is refreshing to seesexual harassment people honored who have fought to protect their rights and maintain their values.

The Asbury Park-Neptune Chapter of NAACP in New Jersey recently honored two female members of the local police officers who twice filed lawsuits as a result of sexual harassment and race discrimination they allege was taking place in their police department, according to App. Long before the New York Times‘ Harvey Weinsten expose or the popularity of #MeToo on social media, these two women were standing up when it would have been so much easier to buckle under the pressure.

Their story begins in 2013 when the two reported repeated sexual harassment and discrimination. One of the plaintiffs claim a lewd magnet was stuck to her car and in a separate instance a crass message was place on her car, a vehicle she used to visit the local high school. She also alleges that she was repeatedly not given the resources she needed to properly serve the high school, such as active shooter training and access to a tactical vehicle, both of which were given to a male resource officer for the school. Plaintiffs allege in the lawsuit instances of inappropriate conversations about pornography and personal sex lives, and crude gestures.

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When employees work in helping professions, they generally expect their supervisors and co-workers to share values of compassion and empathy. Unfortunately, racialrace discrimination discrimination, harassment and bullying can rear their ugly heads nearly anywhere, even among people who do good for a living. These in turn give rise to employment lawsuits.

The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in Connecticut is currently grappling with a flood of such accusations among its staff. Recently, 40 employees came forward to share their stories during a forum, hosted by members of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. After hearing a myriad of accounts of targeted attacks against staff members, State Sen. Len Suzio (R-Meriden) called for the state to open a formal investigation into reported systemic discrimination practices, according to an article from Record-Journal. Most of the accusations detailed instances of discrimination based on color, race, ancestry and national origin.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly forbids discrimination of employees based on “race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.” U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines one aspect of race discrimination as treating someone unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with that race. This applies to all steps in the employment cycle, including the hiring process, training, promotions, and dismissals.  Continue reading