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The Department of Justice under President Donald Trump is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to establish formal precedent that would allow employers to terminate workers because of their transgender status. Orange County employment LGBT employer discrimination attorneys know this is a sharp deviation from the Obama administration’s stance, as well as that of the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and California law. transgender worker discrimination

In a brief submitted to the SCOTUS, attorneys for the administration requested a ruling holding that Title VII protections, which bar workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion and sex, doesn’t extend to a person’s transgender status.

The case that gave rise to this issue involves a funeral home that fired a worker who was transgender on that basis. A lower court ruled that the funeral home committed wrongful termination on the basis of unlawful discrimination. That ruling was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit last year. The Trump administration is asking for that ruling to be overturned. Continue reading

Roughly 85 percent of working women will become mothers at some point during their careers. There are numerous legal protections in place to ensure they aren’t discriminated for this, including California’s rule against pregnancy-based harassment as well as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, a federal law. And yet, pregnancy is often treated some sort of deviation from the ideal norm.pregnancy discrimination

Almost all pregnant workers will need some time away from work to attend prenatal appointments. Others will need more time off due to the need for emergency medical care. Unfortunately, too many employers all too often respond to these needs with a penalty – which is illegal. Women go to the hospital for a few days, only to learn when they return home that they’ve lost their jobs, their health insurance and sometimes, ultimately, their homes – told their pregnancy-related hospital stays amounted to “unauthorized absences” or “no-call-no-shows.”

Some of these absences are covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (which allows unpaid time off for medical emergencies) but this is only applicable to companies with 50 or more workers – and employees need to have held that job for at least one year. That means 44 percent of all U.S. workers won’t have that protection. Continue reading

Employment attorneys in Los Angeles have noted an uptick in employment complaints stemming from religious discrimination. Turns out, this coincides with a notable uptick in government restrictions and social hostilities against religious persons between 2007 and 2017.religious discrimination

Policies, laws and actions by state authorities that restrict religious practices and beliefs, according to the Pew Research Center, are up around the world as well as in the U.S. Hostilities – which include violence and harassment – is also on the incline.

The most recent data we have suggests that over the last decade, more than 50 governments – including those in Russia, China and Indonesia – have been imposing either a level of restriction on religious activity considered either “high” or “very high.” Nations where individuals report feeling a “high level of social hostility” due to their religion rose from 39 up to 56 in the course of those 10 years.

Pew tracked the not only restrictions of religious freedoms (limits on certain activities or outright harassment) but also government favoritism of some religious groups or belief systems to the exclusion of others. The latter could mean providing funding, property or other benefits. The average global score for both is up by 20 percent. Continue reading

It’s fairly well-accepted that pretty people have an edge – greater popularity, higher grades, more job opportunities, more positive reviews, higher salaries – they’re even punished less harshly by the criminal justice system for the same crimes as people generally deemed less attractive. Some could make a fair case that, despite the designation being broadly subjective, pretty is a privilege. fired for being pretty

Yet, is it possible for people – women in particular – to face workplace discrimination because they are pretty? And is that something you could sue for?

Beauty Isn’t a Protected Class, But Female Is

The answer is that while there have been cases where female plaintiffs alleged their good looks gave them a distinct disadvantage at work. In fact, a new study recently published in the journal Sex Roles reveals attractive women may be wrongly perceived as untrustworthy and liars.

In what we label the “femme fatale” effect, we proposed and found support for the notion that attractive female employee may be unfairly judged by what researchers called the “femme fatal” stereotype of one who is beautiful but also manipulative. Rooted primarily in insecurity of the person who is prejudiced, it can have adverse impact on a woman’s career – within insult added to injury that few believe this is an actual detriment.

But whether that rises to the level of legal workplace discrimination is going to depend. Continue reading

When a warehouse in Illinois employing some 600 workers was bought out by a giant retailer, employees were informed they would get raises and a sizable boost in benefits. Instead, some 200 of them – all African Americans, all with criminal histories  – were fired. Now, many are alleging racial discrimination by their new employer. racial discrimination

Some of these individuals had worked years at the facility, their felony backgrounds not having been an issue previously. They are suing for racial discrimination in employment.

Many of those with felony convictions are confused about their employment rights. Some applicants and employees assume that such action is allowed and part of their “punishment.” Although it is true that some adverse treatment against applicants in hiring or in reorganization. What is not lawful, per Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is disparate treatment or impact to individuals in a protected class using the felony conviction as a vehicle.

Workers at Amazon fulfillment centers across the country – including right here in San Bernardino, CA – allege they were victims of pregnancy discrimination by their employer.pregnancy discrimination

As reported by CNet.com, one worker said she was fired just two months after she reported her pregnancy to her bosses, who in the interim complained about her increased bathroom breaks and slowed pace over the course of subsequent 10-hour shifts.

Our pregnancy discrimination attorneys in San Bernardino have learned approximately half-a-dozen women are suing the technology giant, claiming pregnancy discrimination. Continue reading

The Los Angeles Police Department was one of the first in the nation actively hiring LGBT law enforcement officers in the late 90s. Yet a recent report by USA Today detailed the ways in which law enforcement officers in California who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender were allegedly discriminated against for their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Los Angeles LGBT employment discrimination attorney

In one case, plaintiff, a gay black man, said his fellow officers at the state highway patrol said that not only was the harassment demeaning (tying hangers in the shape of penises around the area of his locker, lobbing homophobic slurs at him, carving his name off an award plaque), it put his life at risk. When he called for backup during tense vehicle impoundments, high-speed stolen car pursuits or investigations into hit-and-run accidents, his fellow officers wouldn’t even respond. This led to a workplace environment that was not only hostile, but dangerous. And it’s been going on for years. Even as a cadet at the state highway patrol, a fellow cadet put a gun to his head, saying he knew he was a homosexual and threatening to pull the trigger.

Plaintiff filed one complaint after another internally. Supervisors, he alleges, did nothing. So three years ago, he sued the California State Highway Patrol for LGBT workplace discrimination. He cited 20 years of  discrimination and harassment. His was one in a wave of lawsuits asserting anti-gay discrimination by law enforcement agents. Many of them describe workplace environments that were abusive and hostile. Some said they were subjected cruel taunts – on top of limitations on career opportunities. Their work standards were starkly different compared to other officers. They were passed over for key promotions. They were denied protection on-the-job. All of it, our LGBT discrimination attorneys understand, came down to their sexual orientation.  Continue reading

California employees are entitled to broad anti-discrimination protection under state law. Employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees on the basis of gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, ethnicity or nationality. However, it often surprises people to know there are some instances in which certain California employers can legally discriminate against some employees for certain reasons. As a Los Angeles disability discrimination attorney can explain, one type of employer most commonly cited are religious organizations; more specifically, religious schools. There are more than 40 Catholic schools from pre-K through high school just in Los Angeles alone, plus 11 Catholic colleges in the state of California.  Private schools that accept federal funds (as many do) are required to abide by federal anti-discrimination laws (which, it should be noted, aren’t as stringent as state laws). What’s more, religious schools may be entitled to some exceptions. employment discrimination

Teacher Wins Bid to Sue School For Disability Discrimination in Los Angeles

Recently in Los Angeles, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled a fifth-grade teacher alleging she was fired for taking time off for breast cancer treatment may proceed with her wrongful termination lawsuit, reversing the trial court’s summary judgment last year favoring the school. Plaintiff was hired in 2013 as a full-time teacher. Prior to the school year, plaintiff signed an employment agreement. Although it didn’t require that she be Catholic, it did mandate that teachers model, teach and promote conformity in behavior to the teachings of the church, including leading the students in prayer each day and attend Mass with students once monthly (primarily acting as a babysitter). She had received one positive review, a few weeks after which she learned she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer. This information was shared the following week with the school, indicating she’d need time off starting in late May for cancer treatments. Just a week before she was scheduled to be on leave for treatments was the school’s deadline for informing teachers if their contract was being renewed for the next school year. Plaintiff’s contract was not. Reasons given: She wasn’t strict enough with students and further that it “wouldn’t be fair to the students to have two teachers during the next school year” (as she’d be off the first part of the year continuing cancer treatments). The supervisor later conceded it would not have been a burden to the school because it was done routinely for female teachers on maternity leave.

Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling with far-reaching impact to so-called “gig” employers, like Uber and Lyft. These and others with similar employment structures had argued that their drivers were NOT employees, but rather independent contractors. This ruling was a blow to these companies because when workers are classified as employees, they are entitled to receive benefits like minimum wage, regular breaks, overtime pay, protection from sexual harassment and workers’ compensation for injuries. Of course, all this cost the companies money, something they’d been desperately hoping to avoid.employment attorney

Now, according to Bloomberg, these companies are quietly lobbying Democrats in California, seeking a legislative means of overriding the state supreme court’s ruling in April. They’ve been pleading their case to members of the current governor’s cabinet, as well as with his presumed successor and members of the state legislature. They are hoping to either dull the impact of the court’s ruling (with executive action or through passage of a new law) or else scrap it entirely.

Our employee misclassification attorneys in Orange County recognize that such a move could have serious legal implications not only here in California, but potentially echoing throughout the country, as this is an issue with which many states are grappling.  The whole idea of the “gig economy,” which thrives on newer technology such as smartphone apps and constant internet connectivity, is one in which the laws are only now catching up and adapting to these newer features.  Continue reading

Two years after an initial complaint alleging age discrimination, a state records office has agreed to settle with a former applicant for $60,000. Plaintiff alleged the records office in Pennsylvania refused to hire him because he was 55 when he sought an appeals officer position. age discrimination lawyer

The complaint was filed with assistance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), after the attorney, formerly employed by the Human Relations Commission for nearly two decades, sought a spot with the state records division.

In the midst of the interview, the director openly expressed concern that plaintiff would soon be retiring. A woman who had just turned 40 was later hired for the post, according to PennLive.comContinue reading