Workers in California and around the country are protected against discrimination and harassment by federal laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, but those who work as independent contractors or for temp agencies are not covered by such statutes. This is a serious issue because the American workplace is evolving and most of the people who work in what is known as the gig economy are considered independent contractors.
Nearly one-fifth of all American adults, including many in Los Angeles County, deal with mental health issues in a given year. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, 43.8 million Americans are diagnosed with mental illnesses. There are a number of conditions that people frequently confront, including depression, anxiety or PTSD. There are also a number of mood disorders and other concerns that may arise. Some mental illnesses arise organically while others are impacted by environmental stresses like the loss of a job, a divorce or the death of a loved one.
Disability discrimination is, unfortunately, prevalent in the modern workplace. Thankfully, there are laws that protect the rights of employees with disabilities, including the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, discriminatory practices and behaviors still persist despite these legal protections.
Job seekers in California and throughout the country may use Facebook to search for jobs. However, according to a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, ads are being hidden from women who are looking for work. The complaint claims that Facebook and nine other companies engaged in gender discrimination by doing so. According to Facebook, the company does not engage in discriminatory practices and says that it will defend its actions.
The Family Medical Leave Act requires certain employers in California to accommodate requests for time off when workers have bad health problems, need to care for ailing family members, give birth or adopt a child. Employees who use leave for legitimate reasons have a right to return to their jobs and not be subject to discipline or poor job reviews because they took time off.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission holds employers in California and throughout the country responsible when federal laws protecting the civil rights of workers are violated. On Sept. 21, the agency filed a lawsuit against Walmart Inc. in federal court. The EEOC says that the nation's largest private employer violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act by treating pregnant women more harshly than other workers. Similar lawsuits have been filed against the retailer in New York and Illinois.