Allred, Maroko & Goldberg

Employment Law Blog

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.

Cheerleaders File Sex Discrimination Suit Against Houston Texans

In the #MeToo era, working women in a range of jobs and industries are saying, "Enough." In a recent, shocking example, six former cheerleaders have taken legal action against the Houston Texans football team and cheerleading coach, alleging they worked in a hostile environment where body shaming, intimidation and bullying occurred regularly. This type of treatment is considered sexual harassment, a form of sex discrimination, and is illegal under federal law.

Employees With Hidden Disabilities Often Suffer Discrimination

From chronic pain and fatigue to disruptive headaches and mood swings, millions of U.S. adults suffer from disabling and hidden or invisible medical conditions. For these individuals, daily life can be a struggle as their disability permeates all aspects of their lives, including their ability to get and keep a job.

While most workers are aware of the legal protections afforded to employees who have more visible physical disabilities, a much smaller percentage understand that these protections also apply to workers with less visible disabilities.

U.S. Workplaces Not Immune To Acts Of Religious Discrimination

Founded on the principles of equality and freedom, the United States is frequently referred to as a cultural melting pot. Spanning from California to New York, our country’s rich and diverse landscape is comprised of people of varying nationalities, ideologies, races, and religions. While this diversity is traditionally celebrated as a positive and defining attribute, members of some racial and religious minorities suffer harassment and discrimination in both their personal and professional lives.

In a recent ProPublica poll of some 3,000 Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh New York City residents, nearly 40 percent reported suffering acts of verbal and physical harassment, discrimination, or assault. These acts spilled over into victims’ workplaces, with many reporting extreme emotional distress and financial losses.

Pregnancy Discrimination Exposed at Large U.S. Companies

While both state and federal laws protect women against workplace discrimination based on pregnancy or birth, the reality is that companies of all sizes systematically ignore these laws to protect their bottom line. Even some of the bigger companies in the U.S. are guilty of this type of discrimination, and it is part of a larger problem that women face in the workplace.

Uncovering The Truths Behind The Gender Pay Gap

Most of us would never think to ask someone - much less a co-worker - how much money he or she makes. In fact, in most U.S. workplaces, the subject of salary and pay remains taboo. With the impetus of the "Me Too" movement, however, the subject of pay and, specifically, the disparity between how much female employees earn versus their male counterparts is getting more attention.

For more than 50 years, women have been an important fixture in workplaces throughout the U.S. Today, nearly 50 percent of U.S. women work outside the home and a record number hold managerial and executive positions. When it comes to pay and overall compensation, however, statistics show that female employees consistently lag behind.

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes A Blow Against Workers' Rights

This past May, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employees must comply with arbitration clauses in their employment contracts. Those clauses require plaintiffs to resolve legal disputes with their employers through arbitration instead of joining other employees in class action lawsuits.

In doing so, the court rejected the employees' argument seeking to overcome their employers' arbitration clauses. The employees had unsuccessfully urged the court to rule that the arbitration clauses were precluded by federal labor laws.

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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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