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May 2017 Archives

Ways of proving age discrimination on the job

California workers over 40 may face age discrimination when applying for jobs. While age discrimination can be difficult to prove, there are some scenarios in which it may be possible. One of the most common situations is an employer that hires a younger person who is less qualified. To avoid discrimination, the employer must give a reason besides age that the less-qualified person was hired.

Employment discrimination against transgender people

Some transgender people in California might experience job discrimination. This could range from not being hired at certain positions to people in the workplace using the wrong pronoun or not being allowed to use the bathrooms that is consistent with their gender identity. The Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group, reports that between 1996 and 2006, about 20 percent of transgender people had experienced workplace discrimination that included being fired, harassed or denied promotion.

Former city aide files lawsuit claiming wrongful termination

On May 4, a former aide for a California councilman told a jury that she had been fired after she acted as a witness in an investigation involving allegations of improper electioneering and harassment. A lawyer for the city of West Hollywood claimed, however, that the former aide and several others were fired due to business reasons.

2nd Circuit rules for Muslim employee

California residents may be interested in a case involving a Muslim employee of New York-based bank who has filed a lawsuit claiming that she was subjected to a hostile workplace. Specifically, she claims that she was told to remove her hijab and that it was referred to as a "rag" by her supervisor. Furthermore, the woman claimed that she was subjected to many racist statements.

Allegations of misconduct in workplace discrimination cases

Employers in California and around the country sometimes mount what is known as an after-acquired evidence defense when workers claim that they have been fired unfairly, and this strategy is sometimes successful even when discrimination based on gender, religion, race, age or national origin can be proven. Employers mount this kind of defense when they uncover information about the worker in question that would have led to termination for misconduct. Companies basically concede that they discriminated but would have fired the complaining worker anyway if they had known at the time what they subsequently learned.

Court rules for employee in slur case

California employers should be aware that even a single slur could constitute a hostile work environment. This was the conclusion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit after hearing a case involving a supervisor who allegedly used a slur toward an employee. The plaintiff in the case represented himself and was assisted by an amicus curiae brief by the EEOC.

How employment laws impact small businesses

Small business owners in California and around the country should be aware of both state and federal employment laws. While small businesses may be exempt from some statutes, it is still a good idea to understand the basics of what the law says. For example, it is important to know that the federal minimum wage for non-tipped workers is $7.25 an hour. Minimum wage must be paid if a business makes more than $500,000 in sales.

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