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October 2015 Archives

Age discrimination in California workplaces

In 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 20,588 charges of age discrimination against employers, up by about 3,000 charges compared to 2004. Although the number is still lower than the year where the agency received the most complaints, which was 24,582 in 2008, it believed that the number of complaints will grow in the future.

Rights of employees who have diabetes

Many people in California have diabetes, and they may be unaware that their employers are prohibited from discriminating against them due to their illness. By understanding their rights, diabetic workers may be better equipped to recognize discriminatory behavior when they are subjected to it.

Responding to sexual harassment in California workplaces

Sexual harassment in the workplace frequently comes in one of two forms. Quid quo pro harassment generally involves an unwanted sexual advance, usually for some sort of benefit such as a promotion or a raise. A hostile work environment is when people are made to feel uncomfortable due to behaviors or comments that are sexual in nature.

Marijuana and false positive hair tests

California companies usually rely on urine tests for pre-employment drug screening, but more thorough employers sometimes call for hair follicle tests. Hair tests are considered to be the scientific gold standard for toxicology testing because they are virtually impossible to fool and can often detect drug use that took place several months earlier. However, recent research conducted in Germany indicates that hair follicle tests may not be as unimpeachable as was once believed.

Workplace discrimination against HIV-positive employees

Employers in California are not allowed to discriminate against employees who are HIV-positive. During the hiring process, an employer cannot ask a potential employee if they have HIV or another type of medical condition. However, employers may ask if a potential employee has a medical condition that would cause them to be unable to perform the job, and an employer may require potential employees to pass a medical exam.

Employers and reasonable accommodations

The expectations concerning the duty of California employers to accommodate employees may begin to change in the near future. Two recent cases that might have a significant impact on the workplace involved the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suing Abercrombie & Fitch and a female employee filing a lawsuit against UPS. The cases each reflect the higher burden now placed on employers, and focused on discrimination violations.

Time Warner changes parental leave policy amidst EEOC case

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has guidelines in place to protect workers from pregnancy discrimination. It requires employers in California and the rest of the country to allow both mothers and biological fathers to take parental leave related to childbirth, pregnancy or related medical conditions. However, a recent complaint against Time Warner Inc. found that the company did not fully adhere to these guidelines.

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