Articles Posted in sexual discrimination

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 For women, though, their age can be construed as a sign that they are outdated, out-of-touch, and lacking technical abilities.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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wrongful terminationTwo cheerleaders have filed lawsuits against the National Football League for what they say was wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment. One cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints was dismissed after she posted a bathing suit photo of herself online, and another for the Miami Dolphins left after she was allegedly harassed for publicly discussing her choice to remain abstinent until marriage.

What do they most hope to get out of the lawsuits? Change.

In a surprise turn of events, their attorney recently offered to drop the lawsuits in exchange for a $1 settlement and a face-to-face talk with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, according to an article from The Nation. They want a good faith conversation about how to set clear guidelines going forward that are fair to all employees. The two plaintiffs have very different stories that they allege concluded with the same result: discrimination and loss of their dream jobs. Continue reading

Here in California, there are strong statutes protecting employees from pay-based discrimination. Our employment attorneys recognize,sex discrimination though, that much of the country fall short of these standards. Luckily for the people of New Jersey, those changes are coming sooner than later (and even giving California labor laws a run for their money) thanks to recent actions by the state’s new leader.

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law Bill AI/SI04, which sanctions employers for gender pay disparities between employees with the same responsibilities. This move was counter to those of previous Gov. Chris Christie, who vetoed a similar bill, according to a report from the Associated Press. Throughout his term, Christie vetoed pay equity bills three times.

Previously, the state’s Law Against Discrimination only allowed those seeking damages to collect back pay for two years. The new legislation raises that number to six years. As our employment attorneys can explain, this not only is a huge step to rectifying wage disparities for women, but also acts as a heavy deterrent for companies, ideally forcing them to evaluate their decisions on pay before they become an issue. The new legislation also establishes that employers must pay equally for “substantially similar work,” not just simply the same title, similar to the California Equal Pay Act. 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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The intent of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to protect workers from employer discrimination, is alive and well as courts continue to use this more than 50-sexual orientation discriminationyear-old statute to defend citizens who are unjustly targeted by their employer for their sex, national origin, race, color, or religion. And thanks to a skydiving instructor and a ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sexual orientation is becoming more recognized as a status that falls under these protections.

Sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, the court recently determined in its 10-3 opinion, which mirrors a previous ruling by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals last year, according to CNN. The opinion affirms the conclusion of the 7th Circuit as well as EEOC Decision No. 0120133080  that the employee’s sex is being taken into consideration in relation to the person they are attracted to. In other words, if a male employee was attracted to a man and a female employee is attracted to that same man, punishing the male employee would be discrimination based on his sex, all other considerations remaining the same. The ruling further outlines “associational discrimination,” as a form of sex discrimination because the “employer took his or her sex into account by treating him or her differently for associating with a person of the same sex.”

This flings opens the door for others in those circuits to file lawsuits for sexual orientation discrimination. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals covers Connecticut, New York and Vermont, while the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals includes areas of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Continue reading

After allegations of misconduct against Harvey Weinstein revealed a culture of widespread sexual harassment and assault, the film producer is finally facing concrete sexual harassmentramifications. New York Attorney General’s Office recently filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court, New York County against Weinstein Co., Harvey Weinstein, and Robert Weinstein to “remedy a years-long gender-based hostile work environment.”

The lawsuit (The People of the State of New York v. The Weinstein Company LLC, et al) comes after months of mostly symbolic punishments against the producer. He was fired from Weinstein Co. and resigned from the board in October (while continuing to profit off his 23 percent share in the company) and is said to have received sex addiction rehabilitation treatment since then.

N.Y. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman began building the case after New York Times broke the story last year detailing reports of harassment, assault, and rape allegedly taking place inside Weinstein Co. as well as payouts meant to silence accusers. In addition to claims made against Harvey Weinstein, the lawsuit targets senior managers, who stand accused of ignoring complaints and enabling continued abuse. The attorney general’s investigation included an in-depth examination of e-mails and company records, which allegedly reveal gender discrimination, hostile work environment, harassment, quid pro quo arrangements, and discrimination, according to a report from Variety. Continue reading

Sexual harassment in the workplace is nothing new. However, laws have evolved over the last several decades to include many more protections and legal causes of actions for victims. Unfortunately, it still happens, and remains a very serious problem, as we’ve seen with several high-profile accusations made against famous power players like Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein and Bill O’Reilly.  Even our own president has been accused of such conduct. But it’s not isolated to the seedier side of show business or within wealthy circles.

Employment LawyerAccording to a recent news article from The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has just settled a claim levied by an executive involving allegations of sexual harassment at the workplace.  The employee who filed the lawsuit was formerly the director of human resources. According to his complaint, he said that during the months he worked at the company, he was regularly the target of sexual harassment and said the company has an unwritten policy of targeting such harassment and employment discrimination.  Continue reading

A little more than a year ago, employees at San Diego P.F. Chang’s location won a roughly $1 million verdict in a sexual harassment lawsuit.  According to a recent news feature from the Los Angeles Times, the same defendant is alleged to have engaged in additional incidents of sexual harassment at various other Southern California locations.

highkeyupcloseThis first case that ended in 2014 involved two plaintiffs. Now, there are four women claiming they were repeatedly made to be victims of sexual harassment in Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Riverside, and Chino Hills.  Their contracts required employees to use a binding arbitration process as opposed to filing a complaint in a civil court. There is also another alleged victim, but her case is somewhat different, because she was only 16 years of age at the time of the alleged harassment. Continue reading

California laws provide protection from employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is defined to include homosexuality, heterosexuality, and bisexuality. California law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of both gender and gender expression, which includes gender-related behaviors regardless of whether the behaviors are associate with the gender that someone has been assigned at birth. rainbow-flag-1144037

While California laws prohibit employers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, the federal government has not yet passed a law explicitly barring discrimination against people on the basis of homosexuality or sexual identity. Courts and administrative agencies, however, have continually expanded the protections available under federal law with the goal of ensuring that no one is deprived of opportunities on the basis of their LTBTQ status.

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A high-profile gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit is underway in Silicon Valley, with one of the area’s oldest venture capital firms in the center of the storm. technology

In her complaint, Ellen Pao claims she was subjected to five years of retaliation after she refused sexual advances from several of the senior partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. As a former partner of the firm, she stated she and other female workers were discriminated against when it came to matters of pay and promotions. She also said she was pressured into having an affair with a senior executive, and after she ended it, the discrimination began – and continued for the better part of five years. She is seeking $16 million in compensation for back pay, future wage losses and other damages as a result of the alleged discriminatory conduct.

The case is being closely watched as it has underscored longstanding issues of sexual inequality in the field of technology. As a result, many technological firms have started releasing diversity data regarding their workforces, and have vowed to make improvements with regard to racial and gender balances.