Working among California lawmakers doesn't necessarily protect people from being the victim of illegal workplace actions. Within the past decade, both houses of the California legislature have settled several sexual harassment suits with former employees for six-figure amounts.
California law offers protections against discrimination and harassment in the workplace that the laws of many other states don't. For example, the state's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) has included protections against harassment and discrimination based on "gender expression" and "gender identity" since 2011.
The company co-owned by one of the wealthiest "self-made" women in the country is facing multiple allegations of pregnancy discrimination by former employees. One case is in arbitration now. Other women say they never took legal action, but have told their stories anonymously to Forbes. The magazine also discovered a lawsuit with similar allegations from 2012 when the company was known as Roll Global. All paint a picture of a chief executive who, in one person's words, "didn't like pregnant women."
No matter what your external appearance looks like – black, white, Asian, Latino, male or female – you've probably experienced some form of discrimination in life. Perhaps that discrimination was as simple as someone not wanting to be your friend because of the color of your skin. Or, maybe you were denied a job opportunity because you were a woman seeking a job in a male-dominated industry. Whatever happened regarding your discriminatory event, it probably didn't feel good.
No matter who you are, you can become the victim of workplace discrimination due to no fault of your own. All races, sexes, nationalities and other protected categories could inadvertently find themselves facing negative and unfair treatment due to a superficial category that describes them. Here are some of the most common types of workplace discrimination prohibited under state and federal laws according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for the year 2017:
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.
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.
If you're being discriminated against at work, and you want to stand up for your legal rights in court, you're going to have to prove your case. Similar to when someone gets accused of criminal behavior when the burden of proof is on the prosecution, the burden of proof in your discrimination lawsuit will be on you as the accuser. Therefore, it's important to start gathering evidence.
It doesn't matter if you're male or female, your employer cannot discriminate against you on the basis of your gender. In other words, if you're working at a construction site and you're female, your boss can't give a potentially dangerous job to your male colleague instead of you just because you're a woman. Similarly, if you're a cocktail waiter, your boss can't deny you shifts, just because he or she would prefer to have a female staff member serving drinks on a particular night.
Workplace discrimination takes a variety of forms and if your discrimination falls under the category of a "protected status," you may have the support of powerful state and federal laws to pursue financial justice in court. For example, if you were discriminated for any of the following for reasons -- and you can gather the facts and evidence to prove it in court -- you may have the building blocks of a successful claim: