A California lawsuit filed on June 19 in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges age discrimination at a McDonald's location in Northridge. The seven plaintiffs said they were terminated due to their age and assert that McDonald's decided to staff the restaurant with younger employees. This strategy allegedly began in 2012 when a new manager refused to let older workers take breaks when scheduled and reduced the workers' hours.
While California workers may be generally aware of what constitutes discrimination, they may be less familiar with genetic information discrimination. When an employer discriminates against a person based on their genetic information, that discrimination is prohibited by federal law and is actionable.
California residents may recall a 2014 uproar over a children's shirt sold by the leading fashion retailer Zara that resembled the concentration camp uniforms worn by Holocaust victims. The Spanish company claimed that the similarity was purely coincidental, but the shirt was not the first item sold by Zara that has raised eyebrows. The company was at the center of a similar storm in 2007 when swastikas were used as a design element on a handbag. Many observers felt that the shirt and bag could be indications of an anti-Semitic corporate culture, and a $40 million discrimination lawsuit filed by a former Zara employee on June 3 may add substance to these speculations.
California residents may have heard about the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that may have an impact on those who believe they have been subjected to employment discrimination based on their religious beliefs. A woman who had applied for a job at a location of Abercrombie & Fitch alleged that she was not hired because of the requirements of her Muslim faith that dictated that her head be covered with a scarf.
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.
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.