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December 2014 Archives

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.

Laws mandating paid sick leave may catch on

Following a recent initiative by the city of San Francisco, the California Legislature passed a bill in August mandating paid sick leave for all workers in the state, effective in 2015. A few other states have picked up the idea, and some authorities suspect paid sick leave laws have a good chance of sweeping the nation state by state or becoming a federal mandate. This, naturally, would affect businesses without a system in place to pay employees while they are sick and not working.

California office of Zillow sued for age discrimination

A Zillow employee recently filed a lawsuit against the company for age discrimination at its Irvine office. This lawsuit is one of four that have been brought against the company for employment practices exhibited at this particular office.

Legal protections from sexual harassment

Sexual harassment can take many forms in the workplace. One type, which is commonly referred to as quid pro quo harassment, occurs when a person is offered more favorable employment benefits, such as a promotion and increased pay, in return for sexual favors. However, a work environment where suggestive actions, such as sexual gesturing, leering and unwelcome commentary, is commonplace and permitted is considered hostile under California law. Other behaviors, such as unlawful conduct, such as unwanted touching, repeated uninvited social invitations and impeding a person's free movement, may be considered sexual harassment as well. Sexual harassment in the workplace can also occur when the harasser and the person being harassed are of the same gender.