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Workplace Discrimination Archives

What are reasonable accommodations?

If you are an employee in California who has a disability, an employer may not turn you down for a position, or fire you from an existing one, just because of your disability. In fact, federal regulations require that employers make reasonable accommodations for the employee so he or she can perform the job on an equal level to colleagues. These accommodations can come in different forms, from physical changes to work schedules to job reassignment.

Tips on decreasing harassment in the workplace

Although there are laws that prohibit workplace harassment in California and other states, it still occurs in certain establishments. Employers can do more to outline what constitutes harassment and make sure employees understand the consequences. Employees can also do their part to speak up when they observe situations involving harassment and come forward as witnesses in an investigation.

Long-term effects of workplace discrimination and harassment

Although workplace discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace is against the law in California and the rest of the country, it still occurs in many companies. Studies over time have concluded that not only do these negatively affect the employee's income and reputation, but there are also long-term mental and health effects.

Is the #metoo movement bad for women?

Women in California and all over the world are feeling more empowered thanks to the #MeToo movement. This phenomenon has resulted in many women admitting they have experienced inappropriate and unwanted touching, sexual harassment and sexual assault from men in the workplace and beyond. While many are hoping this will result in more equality for women, the reality is sadly it may have made things worse for women and their chances of landing jobs of high importance.

Wage discrimination and race

Not only should workers in California expect equal pay for equal work, but there are laws in place to protect the rights of employees who are being discriminated against wage-wise. While there is widespread knowledge that women typically do not earn as much as their white male counterparts, there is also a big wage gap for those of a different race. 

What constitutes religious discrimination?

Workers in California have a number of rights and protections under federal law. One is that they are protected against discrimination and harassment because of their religious beliefs and practices. Employees should be aware of what constitutes discrimination so they can take action if they conclude they are a victim.

What is "right to sue?"

If you feel you have been discriminated against in your workplace or in employment and hiring practices, you may wish to pursue a lawsuit. But in California, that requires obtaining a "right to sue" letter. Just what is a "right to sue," and why is it required? Should you be able to simply pursue a lawsuit without obtaining this letter?

Can an employer threaten to report me to immigration?

Many workers in the United States, including in California, can find themselves in delicate situations regarding immigration status and employment. Renewing a work visa one day late can place you in a precarious position, while undocumented workers may have little to no recourse in many situations without being discovered. An unscrupulous employer may take advantage of this to exploit workers in delicate situations regarding immigration status - and may threaten to report your immigration status if you intend to report unsafe, discriminatory, or otherwise unethical work conditions. Can your employer legally do this, or do you have protections even in your situation?

Am I protected from discrimination as an independent contractor?

Many times, it can seem as though the only difference between an independent contractor and an employee is who is responsible for deducting your taxes. Yet there are many other factors that differentiate contractors and employees under California law, and one major point is the protections offered to employees against discrimination, harassment, unfair wages and hours, wrongful termination and retaliation. As an independent contractor, are you afforded those same protections?

What does it mean to discriminate based on gender identity?

While California has some of the most progressive, employee-focused workplace discrimination laws in the country, discrimination still happens based on a number of factors. One of these factors is a person's gender identity, whether they are transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid, two-spirit or nonbinary. So what does it look like when discrimination based on gender identity happens, how do you recognize it and are you protected against it?

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