Articles Posted in sexual discrimination

In California, the incidence rate of sexual harassment is approximately 5 percent higher for women and 10 percent higher for men compared to the national average. Those at increased risk include:

  • Immigrants
  • Gay
  • Lesbian
  • Transgender

That’s according to The University of California San Diego School of Medicine’s Center for Gender Equity and Health and a non-profit dedicated to prevention of sexual assault.sexual harassment

The fact that California led the country on the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements makes the report findings somewhat surprising, except when you consider that we’re talking about reported cases. We live in a state where awareness has been prioritized, and that means an increasing number of workers know their rights – and are committed to fighting for them. 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

When one police officer had the courage to speak out against alleged acts of sexual harassment in her sexual harassmentprecinct, she claims she was the one who was investigated, according to a BuzzFeed News report. Her story is one that would almost be too wild to be true if we hadn’t witnessed this type of behavior in so many other institutions, businesses, and places of work. The officer said she was new to the New York Police Department when she started getting a lot of friendly attention from one of the higher ranking officers. Friendliness allegedly escalated to unwanted touching and then propositions. For five years, she claimed she endured the behavior, telling anyone in her chain of command she felt safe enough talking to, hoping for change that never came. She said she felt trapped, knowing how aggressively police officers reacted when outsiders are brought in to investigate one of their own. Eventually she cracked and sought help form the department’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, at which point she alleged a very creative form of retaliation began.

The officer said shortly after filing her complaint, she was under investigation for alleged alcohol abuse and ordered to complete a treatment program. She took this accusation to be a direct threat, considering she described her own alcohol use as minimal with only a few drinks a year and a clean record with no complaints. Fighting the accusations only seemed to get her in more trouble though, as she said she was suspended when she refused to complete the program and lost a month of pay. Meanwhile, the officer she accused of harassment was docked 10 vacation days for years of alleged abuse toward her. Continue reading

Right now, more mothers are joining the workforce than any time in history. In addition, there is a pregnancy discriminationgrowing trend of friendlier office policies geared toward families in general and mothers in particular. Why then are there still an alarming amount of cases where pregnant women report enduring discrimination and unfair treatment? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has collected a gradually increasing number of pregnancy discrimination claims over the years, and officials say the number is approaching a record high.

The New York Times delved into the issue recently and discovered an unsettling pattern of discrimination that still flows beneath the surface, even at large and reputable companies. Big names on the list include Walmart, Whole Foods, AT&T, and 21st Century Fox, all of which, as the article pointed out, have grand statements about being champions of women in their communications.

Women in all kinds of careers have anecdotes to share. Our employment attorneys know labor jobs can often have more blatant discrimination. Examples include refusals to allow pregnant women accommodations they need to complete their work, no leniency for breaks, refusal to adjust demands due to physical limitations, and series of micro-aggressions, like not allowing them to have water on the work floor. Continue reading

Not only is sexual harassment in the workplace illegal, but it also is costing a significant amount of money. Thesexual harassment influx of reports of sexual misconduct has led journalists and investigators to dig into the scope of these behaviors. What they have found is a trail of monetary payoffs and cover-ups over the years that have kept accusers silent and cost states and businesses a sizeable amount of money. California, despite having many protections, may be one of the biggest offenders.

The News Journal in Delaware recently revealed sexual misconduct payoffs over the past decade cost the state $663,000, plus the costs of litigation. Cases were filed alleging sexual harassment, misconduct, and discrimination across a variety of departments. Totals in other states varied pretty widely. Florida tallied $11 million in settlements, but that was over a 30-year period. Investigations in New York revealed at least $5 million in payouts from 2008-2010. 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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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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