The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects employees from discrimination, retaliation, and harassment on the basis of their race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, martial status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or veteran or military status.
June 13, 2019
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.
The woman claims it was because she filed the discrimination claim. This type of retaliation violated her rights under Title VII. However, this is not the only type of retaliation any worker could endure simply for asserting his or her rights under the law. Other forms of retaliation include lower than normal performance evaluations, denial of promotions and denial of sought after assignments. Retaliation could also include changing a person’s schedule to one that conflicts with other obligations simply to “punish” the worker.
These are not the only forms of retaliation women truckers or any other California employee could be forced to endure just because they fought back against workplace discrimination. Unfortunately, these actions still occur despite the prohibition against them under the law. Anyone who believes they are being retaliated against for engaging in a legally protected activity, such as making a discrimination complaint, should gain an understanding of his or her rights and legal options instead of suffering in silence.
How many times have you wondered if you’re getting paid your fair share? Do you think you’re underpaid because of your race, sex, gender, disability, or even your prior salary history?
If you cannot work because you’re injured/sick or you need to care for a qualifying family member, eligible employees (those who worked more than 1,250 hours in the year prior for an employer with 5 or more employees) are eligible for up to 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) and/or California Family Rights Act protected Leave (CFRA).