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Glendale Legal Blog

African Americans continue to experience discrimination in hiring

Anyone searching for a job in California could experience setbacks, but racial prejudice persists as a impediment to career development for African Americans and Latinos. A meta-analysis of all available research studies that tested job callback rates among applicants of various races concluded that hiring discrimination against African Americans has not improved at all since 1989.

The researchers who studied the findings of multiple experiments conducted across the years calculated that employers called back white applicants 36 percent more often than African Americans. Latino applicants gained some ground over the years, but white applicants still got job interviews 24 percent more often.

Can your employer retaliate by calling immigration?

If your employer is not paying you overtime wages you have earned, isn't paying you the appropriate minimum wage, is forcing you to work off the clock or is deducting inappropriately from your paycheck, that's less money you have to take home to your family, pay your bills and get a secure financial foothold for your future. That's not only isn't fair, it's against the law.

It can be scary to think about filing a complaint, wondering if you could be fired, demoted or worse. You may even fear that an employer could turn you in to immigration in retaliation for reporting a valid issue. It's important to understand that even if your immigration status makes you vulnerable, you are still protected by the law. It is illegal for your employer to use your immigration status as a weapon if you assert your employment rights. More specifically, your employer cannot:

Sexual harassment is still a problem for many companies

Despite the #MeToo movement and the increased spotlight on sexual harassment, employees in California are still at risk on the job. The acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission noted that the federal agency deals with large numbers of sexual harassment complaints and can be nearly overwhelmed with the frequency of these issues. She noted that harassment continues to be a persistent, pervasive problem in many American workplaces, despite awareness-raising efforts and media exposure.

Following the widespread attention to sexual harassment in industries like news and filmmaking, the EEOC noted that human resources departments have a major role to play in reducing the risk of harassment in the workplace. According to the EEOC, employee training can play a major role in decreasing incidents of harassment. In June 2016, the EEOC released a report on workplace harassment, noting that there are three principles that employers can enforce. These include introducing firm guidelines on how workers treat one another, promoting bystander intervention and enhancing employee education.

Survey finds sexual harassment from investors common

In a new survey by Y Combinator (YC) and Callisto, more than 20 percent of female startup founders said that they had been harassed. This lead YC to create a process by which entrepreneurs in California and throughout the country can report harassment. The survey targeted 125 female founders that had received funding from YC.

Of those asked to participate, 88 responded to the survey, and a total of 56 had reported experiencing some sort of sexual impropriety. For instance, four had said that they were subject to unwanted sexual contact while another 18 said that they experienced sexual badgering. However, many chose not to report their experiences, and they cited a fear of backlash from investors as their motivation to remain quiet. Those who did report their experiences said that they wanted to protect others from possible repeat offenders.

What counts as workplace retaliation?

When an employee notices that they are being treated unfairly by their employer, they have the opportunity to take action by reporting the misconduct or filing a lawsuit. In some circumstances, however, a supervisor may try to retaliate against the employee for bringing the issue to light. Retaliation is against the law, but some employers still attempt it to punish the whistleblower employee.

It is crucial that employees can recognize retaliation. In this post, we will examine some of the most important examples of workplace retaliation.

Study reveals facts about workplace harassment

According to a study by Hiscox, a specialty insurer, 35 percent of workers in California and across the U.S. believe they have experienced harassment in the workplace. Of those who said they'd experienced harassment, 50 percent thought it was because of their gender, 78 percent said the harasser was a man and 73 percent said the harasser was in a higher position. Hiscox surveyed 250 men and 250 women who were full-time employees.

Seniority and gender are important factors when it comes to harassment in the workplace, but there are other elements as well. The data indicated that some workplace harassment is perpetrated by women toward men, and some of the harassment is committed by people of the same sex. Some workplace harassment originates from vendors or customers as well. Forty-one percent of women said they had experienced harassment in the workplace.

Sexual harassment in the broadcasting industry

While allegations about the misconduct of Harvey Weinstein rocked the entertainment industry in California, similar accusations in media and broadcasting have continued throughout the country. It is not the first time the broadcasting industry has come under scrutiny for enabling sexual harassment. Ten years ago, investigations into an executive running Tribune Broadcasting eventually resulted in his resignation.

In that case, employees and former employees reported sexual innuendo and other behaviors that were encouraged by executives. The employee handbook was rewritten to say that such an atmosphere was necessary for creativity. In the current atmosphere and moving forward, broadcasters should review their employee handbooks, guidelines for reporting sexual harassment and training and see where they need to improve.

Discrimination case focuses on sex versus gender identity

The workplace is often a focus for discrimination against transgender individuals. Workplace discrimination remains at the forefront of emerging LGBTQ rights issues in California and across the country. An important aspect of these cases for transgender workers is the legal definition of sex versus gender identity.

Under federal law, only sexual discrimination is protected by statues such as Title VII. This relates to a person's biological sex. It is considered separate from the gender the person may identify as or express. This can cause problems for LGBTQ individuals in the workplace when they file discrimination lawsuits against employers.

Lawsuit accuses Nike of gender discrimination on the job

While many California women are fans of Nike products, the massive sporting goods manufacturer is facing a lawsuit for gender discrimination in the workplace. The plaintiffs accuse the corporation of intentionally discriminating against women on the job in terms of wages, promotions and employment conditions. In addition, they also say that the company tolerated or ignored sexual harassment and assault, fostering a hostile workplace environment for women. Several former female employees filed the suit and are seeking recognition as a class-action case.

The former employees allege that they were passed over for promotion on the basis of gender discrimination. They said that women's performance was judged by harsher standards than those used for men, meaning that fewer women enjoyed perks like bonuses and stock options. They also cited complaints made to the company's human resources department about discrimination and sexual harassment, and they said that HR ignored or dismissed the complaints without thorough investigation.

Study shows that sexual harassment is prevalent in nursing

When the #MeToo movement swept the country, many California residents may have learned just how prevalent sexual harassment is in the entertainment industry. However, the #MeToo movement has also revealed that sexual harassment is prevalent in other industries and workplaces as well. For example, a recent report found that about a quarter of nurses, nurse practitioners and physician's assistants experience sexual harassment.

About 6,200 clinicians across the country were surveyed as part of the study. The results showed that approximately 11 percent of nurses, NPs and PAs reported having experiences of some sort of sexual harassment in the workplace. Additionally, 14 percent also reported seeing sexual harassment. Ultimately, 20 percent of the participants reported that they experienced sexual harassment, witnessed sexual harassment or both.

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