Women in California may have good reason to be concerned about pregnancy discrimination on the job. While the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was intended to address this issue (the act amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to designate it as a form of sex discrimination), women continue to report significant problems in the workplace. Even after many large companies advertise benefits like parental leave and work-life balance, many expecting mothers have found that their workplaces continue to pass them over for responsibilities and promotions.
Finding work can be difficult for transgender people in California and around the country. About a quarter of the transgender people polled by the National Center for Transgender Equality in 2015 said that they had been denied work, passed over for promotion or fired because of their gender identity, but more recent research conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation suggests that American workplaces are becoming more tolerant and welcoming to those who do not identify with the genders they were assigned at birth.
In California, experienced workers may be subject to a specialized work experienced targeting method where the upper limit on an employee's work history could be used for employment discrimination. The EEOC is examining the practice of using a person's work experience when used for the purpose of age discrimination.
As the discussion of sexual harassment continues to dominate headlines, many California employees are still having to deal with uncomfortable situations on the job. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 72 percent of workers who experienced harassment on the job did not share their experiences with their employers. Of those who reported sexual harassment, nearly 54 percent report not confronting the offender.
California residents who are trying to start a family while continuing to work may be interested to learn that on May 14, two women filed discrimination lawsuits against AT&T Mobility. The women claimed that the company fired them after they had pregnancy-related absences.
In covert surveys and ongoing interviews with the New York Times, female employees at Nike described a pervasive culture of sexual harassment and marginalization. There are accounts of epithets being used against subordinates, inappropriate talk about body parts and numerous trips to strip clubs in conjunction with staff outings. As a result of these revelations, several top Nike executives have resigned or announced their plans to do so.
Workers in America may believe that the caste system is something that only exists in India or Pakistan. However, as immigration from South Asia increases, cultural norms in those countries may start to be practiced in the United States. A survey by Equality Labs found that issues related to caste can take place in the United States. According to the survey, roughly 66 percent of Dalits have experienced both workplace and educational discrimination in America.
Three bills pending in the California state legislature will change laws regarding on-the-job sexual harassment in the state if they pass. SB-1343 will change the current law that requires employers with at least 50 workers to train supervisors within six months into a law that requires employers with at least five workers to train everyone by Jan. 1, 2020. The training must last at least two hours. Training again every two years will continue to be a requirement. Companies will have a choice of using a video that the Department of Fair Employment and Housing will be required to develop or creating their own training.
Even though workers in California and across the United States usually benefit where there are low unemployment levels, this favorable situation does not fully extend to those individuals who live with disabilities. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that unemployment among disabled Americans can reach levels as high as 70 percent, and these persons tend make about $1,000 less per month when compared to people who do not have disabilities.
Some older employees of IBM in California might have faced age discrimination on the job. According to a report by "Pro Publica" and "Mother Jones," the company employs a number of methods to push out workers who are over 40 such as laying them off, firing them, giving them a choice between moving to a distant city or quitting, and saying that their skills are out of date but then rehiring them as contractors at a lower pay with fewer benefits.