As many California employees know, federal law protects certain forms of discrimination in the workplace. When employers make it difficult for an employee to function in his or her job, complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may help address this type of behavior.
In 2013, Facebook settled a lawsuit brought by the California Fair Employment and Housing Department for an employment ad that stated the company preferred class of 2007 or 2008 applicants. Now, companies are starting to use the term 'digital natives" in their recruiting ads as a method of attracting younger employees. A recent search showed dozens of ads using this term.
As many Californians may know, age discrimination is illegal under the 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Under its auspices, it is possible to file a lawsuit if this discrimination occurs at work or during the hiring process. In addition, some states have enacted statutes that provide stronger protections.
Farmers Insurance is being sued by a former female attorney employee for sex discrimination. The class-action lawsuit, which was filed in a California federal court on April 29, claims the company pays its male attorneys significantly more than its female attorneys for doing equal work.
According to a letter distributed to research center staff at the University of California, Los Angeles, in March, some men working at the Alzheimer's disease research laboratory, part of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, created hostile conditions for three female workers. An outside investigator had been brought in to address allegations of discrimination and found that the harassment had been going on for 10 years.
On April 9, a team of discrimination lawyers from national organizations such as Equal Rights Advocates filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court on behalf of one former and one current employee of the grocery chain Raley's, who claim their stores discriminated against them for being pregnant. The 30-year-old and 19-year-old women in the case were both asked by their store managers to take leave after they informed them that they were pregnant. The 30-year-old, who was employed at the bakery of a West Sacramento Store, allegedly gave her manager a note stating she could not lift over 10 pounds on July 11, 2013, and her manager informed her she had to take leave that same day.
California residents may be interested to learn that, on April 1, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that a transgender woman was protected against gender-based harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The woman filed a lawsuit against the Army after she was subjected to embarrassment and ridicule due to gender identity.
A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision may affect female employees in California who are expecting a baby and who wish to continue working through their pregnancy. On March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would remand to a lower court a workplace discrimination lawsuit that was filed by a former United Parcel Service worker. The worker, now 43, sued her employer after she claimed that it failed to provide her with light-duty work while she was pregnant.
A complaint brought on behalf of eight farm workers against three Napa Valley businesses has reached a settlement agreement. The sex discrimination and retaliation complaint filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Fair Housing was settled for $65,000 that the workers will divide between them.
A lawsuit brought against Facebook for discrimination and harassment may be of concern for California employees in tech industries. On March 16, a former employee of Facebook took the company to court for sexual harassment and discrimination based on race, gender and national origin. She claimed that during her time working for Facebook, from June 2010 to October 2013, she faced sexual harassment and/or discrimination from over 50 other employees.