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July 2017 Archives

Beating the bully: Can you be fired for defending someone?

Sarah was tired of seeing it happening. Her office was mostly men, and for the few women who worked there, it felt like something between an old boy's club and a fraternity. When Sarah's co-worker, Shelby, was pregnant, the men constantly commented on her burgeoning belly. They touched her stomach without permission and made crude jokes about how she had ended up "in the family way."

Big 5 Sporting Goods faces race discrimination lawsuit

Residents of California who have shopped at Big 5 might be interested to know that the sporting goods company has had a lawsuit filed against it by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The lawsuit claims that an African-American employee suffered discrimination at the hands of the manager and other coworkers while he was training to become a manager himself at the establishment.

Harassment a problem for female scientists of color

Women of color in California and around the country often find themselves struggling to achieve professional parity with their white and male colleagues. Unfortunately, the reality of sexual harassment and racial bias can hamper these women's efforts. Harassment and bias are realities in all occupations, including scientific fields.

Were you terminated because of your political affiliation?

Because California is an "at will" employment state, your employer can fire you for any reason except those that are against the law, such as mental or physical disability, pregnancy, race or religion. Clearly, you do have some protections. You cannot be terminated, for example, because of your gender or age. Also, it is unlawful for your employer to fire you because of your political affiliation. 

When working off the clock is illegal

Depending on where they work, some California employees may find themselves staying later or working longer hours than they were originally scheduled to. If this work is unpaid or does not count towards overtime, it could potentially be illegal. Although there are a few exceptions, employers are responsible for paying their workers overtime if those workers work longer than 40 hours a week.

Understanding religious discrimination at work

Employers in California and throughout the country are barred from discriminating against employees on religious grounds. This protection is afforded to workers by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers are generally required to accommodate an employee's religious practices or beliefs unless doing so would create an undue hardship. Examples of accommodations include a flexible work schedule or allowing a worker to transfer elsewhere within the company.

Disrespect or harassment: Where do you draw the line?

Who hasn’t had a co-worker over the years that drove them crazy—constantly coming in late, avoiding work, foisting their assignments on someone else’s shoulders? Working with a co-worker who is disrespectful can take your job from okay to awful in no time. And with a third of our lives spent at work, that can start to feel like a very heavy burden.

Hispanic umpire claims MLB skips him for promotions

California baseball fans know that umpires often endure angry protests over their calls, but now a Major League Baseball umpire has filed suit against the league for racial discrimination. According to his court filings, the 55-year-old Hispanic man asserts that the league has declined to give him a position umping for the World Series since 2005. Additionally, the league has not offered him a permanent position as a crew chief, instead choosing to designate him as a temporary chief.

Who constitutes an employee in discrimination cases

Whether an executive should be treated as an employee or an employer in a discrimination case is a hotly debated question. If a California executive is not deemed to be an employee, that person is not covered under anti-discrimination provisions of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In fact, that executive may not be covered under most anti-discrimination legislation.

Panda Express pays $600,000 for employee discrimination

Headquartered in California, Panda Express has over 1,900 locations and 30,000 employees. The fast food company was involved in an employee discrimination lawsuit involving workers' immigration status. Legal permanent United States residents were obligated to show proof of their status when their documents expired. They also had to resubmit the documents a second time despite having already done so. The case was considered discriminatory because workers who were United States citizens were not required to show proof of their status at the time.

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