The Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act seek to protect workers in California from discrimination. Although the acts obligate employers to treat people fairly regardless of their gender, race, religion or national origin, reality often falls short of the law, and mistreated employees must pursue legal complaints against their employers. The rights granted by these acts sometimes overlap, and a victim of discrimination might choose to file complaints based on one or both acts.
In a competitive job market, factors such as skills, experience and attitude should determine eligibility for a job. However, even those who meet the requirements and come in for an interview can receive unfair judgment. Discrimination can and does happen even before an employer hires you. During the interview, certain questions are off the table to ensure a fair assessment. Yet, these questions often still come up, so it is important you recognize them.
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.
Historically, women make less than men when doing the same work. This has been true across the board in a number of industries. It is a type of workplace discrimination, and luckily, California has taken steps to ensure women make the same amount of money, including when it comes to less traditional jobs.
California is one of several states where employers are no longer allowed to ask potential employees what they made at their last job. There is evidence that doing so could perpetuate wage inequity over the long term. Women are often paid less than men even just out of college, so they might be unable to shake the low salary as they move from job to job.
Unpaid overtime is an issue that plagues many workers in California. A lawsuit filed by Donald Trump’s personal driver has brought national attention to this problem. Before the Secret Service took over transporting the new president, the driver chauffeured Trump for over 25 years. The lawsuit from the 59-year-old man claims that his employer, the Trump Organization LLC, owes him for 3,300 hours of overtime.