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Workplace discrimination continues in male-dominated industries

It can be challenging to succeed in a traditionally male-dominated industry such as long-haul truck driving. When one woman experienced workplace discrimination based on her gender, she filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Her employer then promptly denied her the right to go back to work for the company. California residents going through similar circumstances may want to know whether that action violate federal law.

The simple answer to that question is yes. According to the EEOC, not giving an employee who makes a discrimination claim the opportunity to work at the company violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For example, a woman truck driver filed a sex discrimination claim against the company she worked for with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is considered a protected activity. When she attempted to regain her employment with the company, it refused.

What is "quid pro quo" sexual harassment?

Most Long Beach residents have heard the adage, "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch." People understand this to mean that they cannot get something for nothing -- there is always a price. When it comes to employment, workers believe this refers to the fact that they only get paid if they perform their job duties. Unfortunately, some workers end up finding out that a superior expects something else, and that something else could constitute "quid pro quo" sexual harassment.

This type of sexual harassment occurs when a superior demands some sort of sexual favor in exchange for a raise, a promotion, a good work assignment or some other work benefit. It can also work the other way. That superior could demand sexual favors in exchange for not firing, reprimanding or providing a poor review to an employee. It should be noted that the perpetrator and victim do not have to be of the opposite sex for this or any other type of sexual harassment to occur.

Been fired? Was it wrongful termination under the law?

Losing a job can devastate an individual and/or an entire family. Some California residents may have known that the termination was coming because they just could not catch on the work, meet deadlines or otherwise meet the expectations of the job. In other cases, it seems to come out of nowhere, and the individual who lost the job may wonder whether it was wrongful termination.

If an employer violated federal or California law when letting someone go, legal options may be available to that individual. Discrimination is one of the laws that some employers violate when it comes to terminating someone. It is not enough for the employee to claim discrimination; rather, appropriate evidence must be documented, which can encompass a wide array of situations, comments, acts and more.

6 steps to take if you’re experiencing sexual harassment

If you have been the recipient of unwelcome sexual comments or advances in the workplace, you’re not alone, and you don’t have to put up with them.

More than ever, women in California and across the country have been standing up to sexual harassment. Since late 2017, the #MeToo movement has led to a 13.6% increase in the number of sexual harassment claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and women filed 85% of these claims.

US Supreme Court to decide fate of LGBTQ workplace discrimination

Over the last decade, the LGBTQ community here in California and across the country has battled to receive the same rights as everyone else. The rights to legally marry, to have children and to receive other benefits previously reserved for traditional couples gave this community hope that society has changed and become more tolerant. Unfortunately, instances of workplace discrimination do not always reflect the changes that have occurred.

Now, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on whether the LGBTQ community receives protected status under current civil rights laws. To this point, lower courts have not come to a consensus on the issue. This division has further complicated matters and delays people in this community from receiving much needed legal protections.

Suing after maternity firing, demotion or harassment

An employer cannot infringe upon a woman’s right to bear and rear children. California state and U.S. Federal Law prohibit employers from discriminating against women for becoming pregnant, giving birth or taking maternity leave.

The law considers pregnancy or maternity discrimination to be similar to sex and disability discrimination. Employers cannot terminate, demote or harass women after becoming pregnant, while on maternity leave or returning from maternity leave. In addition, businesses cannot deny mothers promotional opportunities and other equitable rewards.

Misclassification leads to numerous wage and hour disputes

It is not uncommon for Long Beach employers to want to save money in order to increase their company's profits. One of the largest expenses of any business is its workers. Salaries, taxes and benefits can cost a significant amount of money. For this reason, some employers attempt to classify workers as independent contractors, which could give rise to wage and hour disputes.

Independent contractors do not receive benefits, and employers are not responsible for taxes and other expenses related to employees. This status also denies individuals certain legal protections enjoyed by those classified as employees. Many people actually meet the legal definition of an employee, but may not know it.

Is your boss not reacting well to your need for time off?

Workers here in California enjoy some of the best employment law protections in the country. Even so, that does not stop some employers from acting as though the law does not apply to them. If your boss is not reacting well to your need for time off due to the birth of a child, an illness or injury, or military leave, you may have legal recourse.

If you qualify for extended leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the California Family Rights Act or the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, your employer does not have the right to deny it. Your employer cannot terminate you, demote you or reduce your pay because you request time off in accordance with one of the above laws. Your boss may attempt to retaliate against you in more subtle ways such as eliminating some of your job duties, which could be evidence of retaliation as well.

Multiple types of workplace discrimination can occur together

Most California residents need their jobs, but that does not mean they have to put up with certain behaviors. The law prohibits workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Sadly, not every employer adheres to these laws and failing to do so tends to foster an atmosphere where multiple types of discrimination can occur.

For instance, a woman working in another state for a popular grocery store chain, Sprouts, filed a lawsuit against her former employer, alleging that she suffered from racial discrimination and sexual harassment. She claims that racial epithets were normal and management expressed a veiled desire to reduce the number of black employees in favor of white ones. She alleges that within a year of the woman working for the company, approximately 10 black workers were terminated.

Woman sues California tech company for wrongful termination

Even after decades of gaining ground in the workforce, women continue to suffer discrimination and harassment in the workplace. As a result, they often do not make the same wages as their male counterparts and are assigned tasks beneath their positions despite their qualifications. California's tech industry has seen numerous allegations of discrimination based on age, gender and other factors in recent history, and some of those circumstances resulted in legal action for wrongful termination.

One of the most recent involves a woman who claims a California tech company fired her for speaking out and complaining about gender discrimination. She says the company hired her as a product developer and in March 2017 became a manager of a data glove project. Despite her qualifications, job title and managerial position, she was assigned to sew the gloves along with another woman, whose job title was a hardware engineer.

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