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Workplace Discrimination Archives

Federal appeals courts divided on age discrimination

Older workers know that age discrimination is a real issue in the workplace, but federal appeals courts throughout the country have been unclear about how to interpret certain aspects the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit which has jurisdiction over California ruled in a June case that protection extends to employees of public entities regardless of the number of people employed.

Constructive dismissal in employment discrimination cases

Workers in California and around the country who are subjected to discrimination may file claims under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but they are expected to mitigate their damages by remaining in their jobs whenever possible. However, there are situations where workplace environments become so toxic that the courts have allowed workers to collect damages including back pay even though they resigned. According to a 2004 Supreme Court ruling, the constructive discharge doctrine applies when working conditions are so unbearable that any reasonable person would hand in their resignation.

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.

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.

Cancer and workplace disability discrimination

According to a recent study, the occurrences of workplace discrimination against employees that have cancer have not been eliminated despite the changes made to the Americans with Disability Act in 2009. However, oncologists can provide valuable advice to workers and employers in California so that reasonable accommodations can be made.

Employers may be engaging in age discrimination

A study led by a professor of economics at the University of California, Irvine, indicates that older individuals may have a hard time getting hired. The researchers determined that individuals who were older were far less likely to be contacted by employers than younger applicants. Further, the issue seemed to worsen the older an applicant is.

Pregnancy discrimination and reasonable accommodation

People in California who are pregnant may not be aware of their workplace rights and what constitutes discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes pregnancy discrimination illegal even though in South Dakota, lawmakers voted that employers did not have to make certain accommodations for pregnant employees. However, an employer is not supposed to fire, penalize or deny a job or promotion to a woman because she is pregnant.

California law is strict on religious discrimination

The law may view an employee who is exposed to harassment or a disagreeable working situation because of his or her religious beliefs as a victim of religious discrimination. While offhand comments or incidents involving simple teasing are not considered unlawful, repeated offensive remarks about religious beliefs might be, especially when they create a hostile work environment. Claims for religious discrimination are normally filed in Federal Court, but in California, state law provides better protection for harassed workers due to its strong, clear language.

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