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Workplace Discrimination Archives

Investigator finds discrimination at UCLA research center

A new report claims that an outside investigation at the University of California, Los Angeles, discovered that female staff are working in a hostile environment in the research center for Alzheimer's disease. The center is part of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Vineyard workers awarded $65,000 in sex discrimination suit

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing announced that eight Napa Valley vineyard workers will share $65,000 as part of the settlement of a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. The complaint was filed against a vineyard owner, a management company and a farm labor contractor.

Facebook sued for gender and race discrimination

On March 16, a former Facebook employee filed 11 complaints against the social network in a California court. The woman's claims stemmed from her time working for Facebook between June 2010 and October 2013. She alleges that race and gender discrimination were pervasive in Facebook's work environment, and her claim charges Facebook for various offenses including national origin discrimination and sexual harassment.

Supreme Court puts dress code on trial for discrimination

Although discrimination based on religion is one of the things prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, previous cases ruled in favor of allowing employers to discriminate against visibly religious applicants based on the dress code or "look" enforced by the business. In late February, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that challenges this practice, which may be good news for highly diverse states like California.

Sex discrimination alleged in Silicon Valley

As many California workers may know, workplace discrimination may be cited when an employee is treated unequally due to his or her sex. A case in Silicon Valley that began jury selection in San Francisco on Feb. 23 involves this issue. According to legal sources, the fact that the case has gone to court is unusual since lawsuits at this level are often settled out of court.

Disability discrimination and protections

California employees who are discriminated against at work due to their disability may seek recourse against their employers under state or federal law. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a federal agency that pursues claims against employers who it believes have discriminated against individuals who have a history of a disability, who are believed to have a long-term disability and even those who have minor or perceived disabilities.

What is the Fair Employment and Housing Act?

The Fair Employment and Housing Act is California's non-discrimination statute. Tracking closely with and sometimes expanding upon the provisions of federal civil rights laws, FEHA prohibits discrimination in employment and housing based on a person's membership in a legally-defined protected class. The protected classes of race, gender, religion and disability are likely familiar to most Californians. However, FEHA also prohibits discrimination against other protected classes, including persons with certain medical conditions, pregnant women and veterans.

Federal discrimination laws extended to transgender people

On Dec. 18, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department is now interpreting workplace discrimination laws as prohibiting discrimination against people who are transgender. Consequently, transgender people who have been subjected to discrimination in California state and local public employer workplaces may now utilize the help of the Justice Department in order to bring discrimination claims.

Judge upholds $185 million pregnancy bias award against AutoZone

On Nov. 18, a federal judge upheld a jury's $185 million punitive award to a former AutoZone store manager for pregnancy bias, discrimination and retaliation she experienced at one of the retailer's San Diego locations. The judge rejected AutoZone Stores Inc.'s assertion that the punitive award could not stand because the plaintiff did not link a specific AutoZone director, officer or managing agent to her discrimination claims, ruling that the retailer's legal department qualifies as an agent under California law.

National origin discrimination and California workers

If an employer treats employees or job applicants differently due to their country of birth, that is considered national origin discrimination that is prohibited under federal law. Employers who discriminate based on an individual's accent or because an individual seems to be from a particular ethnic background may also be breaking the law. This also prohibits employers from making employment decisions based on the national origin of someone whom that person may know or be affiliated with.