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Ex-IBM workers pursue age discrimination case

Three ex-employees of IBM have filed a federal lawsuit claiming that they were terminated as a result of their ages. The three workers, who are either in their 50s or 60s say that IBM has systematically terminated in excess of 20,000 employees age 40 and over. They allege that this was done to replace them with a younger workforce over the past six years.

The lawsuit filed on Sept. 18 claims that IBM's discriminatory firings of older workers have been purposeful and systematic. A human resources expert stated that the practice of pushing out older workers in favor of younger ones is a rampant problem in the technology industry.

It's important to document workplace harassment

Facing any type of harassment can leave you feeling depressed.There are certain types of workplace harassment that are illegal. For example, if someone makes physical threats or comments regarding your race, ethnicity, gender, age or disability, it could meet the legal definition of workplace harassment.

If you work in a hostile environment where harassment on the basis of your membership in a protected class has become relatively commonplace, you likely dread going to work each day. Unfortunately, the harassing actions taken against you can have negative effects on your work performance, personal life and mental state. As a result, you may find yourself considering legal options for addressing the situation.

Is discrimination or harassment making a bad job worse?

If you hate your job, you are not alone. Many in California and elsewhere have jobs that are exhausting and tedious, providing no joy and barely enough pay to cover the bills. On top of that, you may have co-workers or supervisors who are unbearable to be around for one reason or another. Getting yourself out of bed every day to face work isn't always easy.

You may even consider your work environment hostile. If you have one coworker who insists on keeping the thermostat at 60 degrees, another who has loud, personal phone conversations on the clock or a boss who is hypercritical of your work, you may feel the temptation to label the situation a hostile work environment. However, a "hostile work environment" is a legal term with a specific definition.

2 examples of workplace sexual harassment

Whether we'd like to admit it or not, workplace sexual harassment continues to be a widespread problem throughout California. In fact, thousands of people deal with humiliating situations at their jobs on a daily basis but they never say anything because they're afraid of negative career consequences.

Here are two examples of common scenarios someone might suffer from:

Backing up an allegation of retaliation

Federal and California laws provide you with certain protections when it comes to your treatment at work. You have the right to a workplace free from harassment and discrimination.

If you encounter these types of behaviors when interacting with managers, supervisors or co-workers, you have the right to lodge a complaint in accordance with the policies and procedures that your employer has established. If, after you make a complaint, you begin to feel as though your employer is retaliating against you for it, you may also have a second claim based on retaliation.

California legislature passes new anti-sexual harassment laws

The California legislature has responded to the growing political momentum behind the #MeToo movement by passing two new sexual harassment laws, and more sexual harassment legislation is pending consideration.

The two laws that were passed last week included AB 3080 and SB820. Here's the most important information about these laws:

What is 'retaliation' in the context of an employment law claim?

In the employment law field, "retaliation" generally refers to an adverse action by an employer to punish an employee for lawful actions. The retaliation is often committed against an employee who exercises their legal rights. Courts tend to interpret retaliation as a highly unlawful action that ultimately serves to frighten employees into "putting up with" or "enduring" an employer's wanton disrespect for their rights.

Retaliation happens in a lot of different ways. Following are some examples:

Is a class action lawsuit appropriate given your situation?

When you notice a serious issue at your place of employment, you may first think that you do not have the correct information. For example, if a paycheck is smaller than you expected, you may think that you simply miscalculated your hours or perhaps did not have the right dates for the pay period. However, you may still have a sneaking suspicion that something is not quite right.

After noticing issues on multiple paychecks and speaking with your co-workers and finding that they also have issues, you may wonder what to do. If you suspect that your employer has committed wage theft and that numerous people have been affected, cause may exist to file a class action lawsuit seeking compensation.

2 important workplace discrimination questions

Every worker should be on alert – no matter your race, gender or national origin – to the threat of discrimination. In fact, it's the complacent employees who never expect that they will become victims who often suffer the worst consequences because they never even realize it happened, and they don't take action in court to defend their rights.

To defend your rights successfully, you may have two questions on your mind that need to be answered. These are important questions that any victim of workplace discrimination should ask:

Are you a victim of religious discrimination at work?

If you have a deep devotion to your religion, you are like many in California and across the country. You likely find direction and comfort in your faith, and the precepts upon which it is based permeate many areas of your life. Far from being something you must keep secret, your freedom to worship as you choose is protected by the laws of the nation.

This means that your employer cannot discriminate against you because of your religion. Whether you are a member of one of the traditional organized religions or of a sect that is not widely known, you have the right to practice your faith as long as it does not create a hardship for your employer.

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