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Employment Law Blog

Triumphant U.S. Women's Soccer Team next goal is to break the glass ceiling and fight for Equal Pay

As you may be aware, the United States Women's Soccer Team (USWNT) recently won their second straight World Cup and fourth since 1991. The 2-0 victory over the Netherlands was a brilliant performance from a frontrunner who was expected to win, and deliver they did. This year's team captain, Megan Rapinoe, has unabashedly used her platform to take a strong stance promoting civil rights and has received push back from critics for fighting for equal rights for all. A prime example came from President Trump when he responded to her rejection of his invite to visit the White House.

Hair can no longer be used to discriminate against certain races

California recently passed a bill that prevents employers and schools from discriminating against an individual based on their natural hair type, texture or style. Hair styles tend to be closely tied to race. Therefore, discriminating against a certain hair type indirectly discriminates against a particular race of people. This bill aims to end racial discrimination that has been cloaked under the language of dress codes.

The bill is called the Crown Act which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair.” Similar bills have been introduced in New Jersey and New York. The New York bill passed in February and applies to workplaces, schools and public accommodations.

Greyhound Lines was sued for religious discrimination

A Muslim woman applied for a bus driver position with Greyhound Lines. During the interview, she told the interviewer that she would need to wear an ankle-length overgarment (abaya) as well as a headscarf to comply with her religious beliefs.

The interviewer told her Greyhound could accommodate her clothing requirements. However, the driver was later denied the ability to wear an abaya. Greyhound claimed that the overgarment posed a safety issue and requested that she wear pants with a knee-length skirt instead. The woman driver was forced to quit her new position since the company’s request violated her religious beliefs.

Why did The French Laundry face pregnancy discrimination claims?

Prominent chef Thomas Keller of the famed Michelin starred restaurants The French Laundry and Per Se was recently released from allegations of pregnancy discrimination from former employee Vanessa Scott-Allen.

Scott-Allen was seeking $5 million in damages, claiming that she lost her position due to her pregnancy. She had intended to transfer from New York’s Per Se, where she worked as head server (captain), to California’s The French Laundry. She completed the company’s internal transfer form, agreed to start in April, moved across the country and informed the restaurant group of her pregnancy. However, Scott-Allen was never hired for the new position. Was she pushed out because of her pregnancy?

What is Quid Pro Quo Harassment in the Workplace?

The term quid pro quo literally means "something for something." In an employment situation, it usually refers to a type of illegal harassment.

You may be a victim of quid pro quo harassment if your employer, manager or another supervisor at work tries to coerce you into doing something in exchange for job protection or benefits. Often, the "something" demanded is of a sexual nature.

Understanding the Family and Medical Leave Act

Most California employees are able to draw distinct lines between their personal and professional lives. There are times, however, when family-related situations and emergencies make it difficult or impossible to continue to work. Thankfully, legal protections allow eligible employees to take the time they need off of work without fear of losing their jobs or experiencing other types of retaliatory actions.

What does the Family and Medical Leave Act mean for you?

How Employers Should And Shouldn’t Respond To Workplace Harassment & Discrimination Complaints

Whether you report to a warehouse or the corner office for work, employees are afforded certain rights and protections under both federal and state employment laws. In addition to federal laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, California’s Fair Employment And Housing Act provides broad protections against workplace harassment and discrimination based on various personal identifiers, including an employee’s:

  • Gender and gender identity
  • Age
  • Race
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Disability

Employment Protections For LGBT Employees

Federal laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 provide broad blanket protections to U.S. employees against suffering various types of harassment and discrimination. Currently, however, no federal laws protect employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

While some U.S. Circuit and appeals courts have ruled that Title VII protections include sexual orientation and gender identity, the U.S. Supreme Court has failed to weigh in — leaving many LGBT employees vulnerable.

#MeToo Comes To California’s Legislature

In many respects, 2018 was a momentous year. Historians will likely look back on this year as a turning point for women, and particularly working women, who chose to step forward and raise their voices. In doing so, those women drew broad attention to issues related to sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

The #MeToo movement began with a few accusations against some of the most powerful men in Hollywood and quickly grew to encompass the voices of thousands of women from all backgrounds and demographics.

#MeToo Must Be Inclusive

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the list of wealthy and powerful men who have been outed as sexual harassers, abusers and predators continues to grow. While high-profile cases involving ousted CEOs and shamed Hollywood producers dominate media headlines, those involving less high-profile industries, such as the aggressive fast-food manager or inappropriate hotel guest, are rarely reported.

#MeToo has empowered many women to speak out about the sexually explicit comments they endure or physical assault they experience. For women who work minimum- or low-wage jobs — a disproportionate percentage of whom are Hispanic and black — sexual harassment remains a pervasive problem.

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Do you believe you are a victim of an employee rights violation or other injustice? Contact our firm for a case evaluation. Ask about our experience with confidential pre-litigation settlements and our previous courtroom successes.
We can be reached in Los Angeles at 323-302-4774 and New York at 212-202-2966.
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