Articles Tagged with gender discrimination

As we usher in a new year, many will remember 2020 as a year of significant challenges. In the arena of employment law, we recognize that America’s workplaces have long been plagued by discrimination and harassment. In the last 20 years, virtually all of the country’s biggest companies have paid to settle at least one claim of sexual harassment and/or discrimination. That’s according to Good Jobs First, and bear in mind: Those are only the cases that were publicly reported.gender discrimination lawyer

Federal and state laws prohibit sex-based harassment and discrimination. Despite this, companies in the U.S. still only pay women $0.082 on average for every dollar men are paid. Black women are paid even less. This wage gap has budged very little since 2000.

The U.S. EEOC in 2019 received more than 70,000 complaints of discrimination on the basis of sex, age, religion, race and disability. More than 7,500 complaints of sexual harassment were made during that time.

One positive thing about 2020 was that it gave further rise to the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements, empowering workers to increasingly turn to courts for employer accountability for violations of civil rights, discriminatory work practices and work environments. Some of those claims over last three years have involved huge companies paying multi-million dollar settlements in cases that made big headlines.

Here, we take a look back at the highest profile sexual harassment and gender discrimination cases of 2020.

Amazon. Amazon was hit with numerous employment lawsuits in 2020. In February, a former manager in charge of hiring sued after she says her boss asked her to comb applicants’ Facebook and Instagram accounts to glean information about their race and gender. When she complained, she says, she was fired. The company was also accused of harassment and retaliation after demoting and later denying promotion to a transgender man after he revealed his pregnancy.

Bloomberg LP. The media company was accused of allowing the longtime and widespread sexual harassment of ex-CBS host Charlie Rose. Eight women worked for or aspired to work for the host in the 90s, 2000s and 2010s. Rose’s show aired on both PBS and Bloomberg TV. Although some of the plaintiffs in the case against Bloomberg have already settled with CBS, they allege Bloomberg was complicit. Rose owned his own production company, but operated within Bloomberg headquarters. Many operations for Rose’s company (including payments and benefits) were managed by Bloomberg. The employees now suing Bloomberg say they were jointly employed both by Rose and Bloomberg, a point likely to be hotly contested.

Disney. A gender-based pay discrimination lawsuit filed in 2019 is still ongoing, and was joined by several other former employees last year. Ten executives in all allege rampant gender pay discrimination as of March 2020. The newest claim alleged that her $75,000 starting salary at the company was far less than a male colleague’s starting salary. She further alleged she was passed over on promotions, given smaller raises on average and dissuaded from discussing gender discrimination complaints with the CEO by a top female executive.

FOX News. Former host Ed Henry was accused of a violent sexual assault of a former producer. Another employee alleged Henry sexually harassed her, as did several other high-profile hosts. The network was reportedly made aware of these claims, but did nothing to intervene or stop them. Henry is no longer employed by the network. It was just a few years ago that the network settled with Gretchen Carlson for $20 million over claims of sexual harassment by the company’s former chairman, Roger Ailes.

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The 1963 Equal Pay Act mandates that employers must provide equal pay for equal work. The express purpose was to eliminate the practice of paying women less simply because of their gender. The law does allow employers to offer an affirmative defense to the law if they can show that some factor other than one’s gender played a role in lower pay. The question recently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Rizo v. Yovino was whether a California math teacher/consultant’s past salary qualified as a “factor other than sex” that allowed the school district to legally pay her less than her male counterparts. On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, the appellate court ruled that it is not. California Equal Pay violation

In other words, the school district can’t use one’s prior salary as an excuse to pay them less. The court ruled that to allow employers to pay workers less solely based on the pay of a previous employer would essentially defeat the purpose of the federal Equal Pay law and perpetuate gender inequities in pay. As our Los Angeles equal pay lawyers can explain, fact that women have been paid less ion the past isn’t justification to continue paying them less.

Several other federal appellate courts have held that if defendants in an equal pay case present a “factor other than sex” defense, that factor has to be job-related. Only one court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, has held that the defense can involve any number of essentially limitless other factors, so long as none of them involves the employee’s gender. Continue Reading ›

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that sexual harassment, verbal abuse and gender discrimination are the catalysts mostly responsible for the high rates of burnout among female doctors.doctor gender discrimination

Physicians in general have high rates of burnout, defined just this year by the World Health Organization as a condition characterized by cynicism, emotional exhaustion, physical fatigue and reduced productivity resulting from unmanaged job-related stress. What this new study suggests is the problem is even greater for doctors who are women, and surgical residents in particular.

Another recent survey conducted by physician staffing firm Merritt Hawkins showed that more than three-quarters of female physicians responded in the affirmative when asked whether they had experienced gender-based discrimination in the workplace. Continue Reading ›

Working mothers in California will soon have stronger support for workplace lactation accommodation. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, employers must provide lactating mothers with a place that is private, secure and close to their workstation in order to pump. Additionally, the room must be equipped with a chair as well as a table or shelf to store their pumping equipment, along with access to electricity, running water and a refrigerator or cooler in which to store their milk. These must all be close to their workstation. lactation accommodation lawyer

As our Los Angeles employment attorneys have been made aware, too many new mothers have been forced to express milk in a restroom, closet, vehicle or other location that isn’t ideal. Research shows that lack of a proper lactation space is especially a hardship among lower-income workers of color.

This new measure mandates companies to inform their workers of their right to express breast milk on-the-job, as well as provide the space and adequate time for it. Any violations of these rights must be reported to the state’s Labor Commissioner’s Office. Continue Reading ›

A proposed class action lawsuit alleges banks, insurance companies, investment firms and loan officers were able to discriminate against older, female prospective new hires and customers using Facebook Inc.’s targeted ad platforms. The complaint, filed in San Francisco federal court, insists the company allowed financial service and other advertisers target their ads to certain consumers on the basis of age and gender – even though the company has already been taken to task for similar discriminatory ad practices.employment discrimination

If it’s proven that this violated civil rights and employment rights laws, Facebook could be vulnerable to paying billions in damages to users across the country.

An attorney for the plaintiffs told Reuters the relative novelty of the internet doesn’t usurp the civil rights and employment law protections that Americans enjoy. A spokeswoman for Facebook said the company is taking the time to review the complaint, and expressed pride with the gains the social media giant has made on this front over the last few years. Continue Reading ›

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 ›

A group of Californians are suing the state to prevent enforcement of a state senate bill signed by the governor last year that requires publicly-held corporations with principle executive offices here to have a minimum of one female on their boards of directors. That requirements is slated to go into effect by the end of this year. Then by the end of 2021, boards with five members are required to have at least two female members and boards of six or more must have at least three.gender discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

The whole idea behind Senate Bill 826 was to even the imbalance of power that exists from longtime discrimination against women in the workplace. However, the group of taxpayers now say the law amounts to a kind of reverse gender discrimination and is an overreach of government power.

In Crest et al v. Padilla, three plaintiffs assert that the law amounts to a quota system and is unconstitutional in light of Article I, Section 31 of the state constitution. As our L.A. gender discrimination lawyers can explain, this provision prevent discrimination of workers on the basis of sex. Plaintiffs are asking the Los Angeles County Superior Court to block taxpayer-funded resources that would be necessary for enforcement of the measure and initiate a permanent injunction to block enforcement. Continue Reading ›

Gender discrimination in California is rarely as blatant has it has been in the world of gaming.gender discrimination

One study conducted by the International Game Developers Association revealed nearly three-quarters of women in the industry work in jobs outside of actual development, meaning in turn they aren’t represented in content, character representation, styles of interaction or systems of rewards within the games. Another survey conducted by the same group two years ago revealed roughly 75 percent of those responding are male, reflecting little change in the last decade, lending credence to its reputation as a “boys club” and resulting in games that that tend to be less inclusive and misogynistic.

Now, the embattled developer of one popular game is now facing investigation by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for ongoing gender discrimination. This is the same company that has been named a defendant in recent litigation over its reportedly toxic misogynistic culture. Continue Reading ›

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 ›

A woman who served as chief of police in Baldwin Park, about 20 minutes outside of Los Angeles, has been awarded $7 million in a California race and gender discrimination employment lawsuit filed five years ago. The case was among the few gender discrimination claims in California to actually go to a jury trial.

Gender Discrimination in Police Departments

Federal law prohibits harassment on the basis of a person’s gender. This includes sexual harassment, of course, but also harassing a woman or making comments about females generally, as noted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Individuals of either gender can be either victim or harasser, and those involved can be supervisors, co-workers or clients/customers. gender discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

Although the law doesn’t bar “simple teasing,” isolated incidents of minimal seriousness and offhand comments, it’s illegal when it’s so severe or frequent that it creates an offensive and hostile work environment OR when the result is an adverse employment action, such as demotion or termination. Continue Reading ›

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