Workplace Discrimination

17 01, 2020

3 Types of Age Discrimination That Are Depressingly Common

By |2020-01-17T23:51:54+00:00January 17th, 2020|Age Discrimination, Hostile Work Environment, Workplace Discrimination|0 Comments

And How Employers Get Away With It According to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and other state and federal laws, it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or job applicants because of their age. However, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), approximately 60% of surveyed older workers claimed to have experienced or witnessed age discrimination in the workplace—and 90% of those respondents said it was a common occurrence. Even though age discrimination is illegal, employers have been taking increasingly creative measures to avoid complying with the law. Here are three different forms age discrimination can take. Refusing to Call It “Firing” Your employer probably won’t come out and tell you that they’re firing you because of your age. But employers do this all the time. One way they get away with it is by calling your firing a “job elimination.” They’re not actually firing you—just eliminating your job title. But a few weeks later, they’ve reinstated the job under a different title and filled the position with a younger worker. Layoffs can also serve as a tactic for employers to let older workers go. The law requires employers to release lists of employees who were both [...]

11 01, 2020

When You Take FMLA Leave—And Your Employer Uses It Against You

By |2020-01-11T02:48:40+00:00January 11th, 2020|Family and Medical Leave Act Claims, Workplace Discrimination, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

Know Your Rights—and How to Protect Them Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you’re entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to fulfill caregiving obligations or handle a medical issue. At the end of your leave, you must be able to return to your previous job at your previous level of pay. But some employers resist giving employees the leave they’re entitled to under the FMLA—and may even use it against them. Some examples of that include: Not promoting you because you took FMLA leave Firing you for taking legally protected leave Denying you benefits while you’re on FMLA leave Citing your use of FMLA leave as part of disciplinary action or a negative review When Is It Legal to Fire Someone on FMLA Leave? One of the more obvious violations of the FMLA is when an employer fires an employee while they’re on leave—or just after they return. However, there are situations where it’s legal to do that. Legally, an employer can’t fire you because you’re on FMLA leave. The reason has to be unrelated. Of course, most employers won’t admit that they’re firing you for taking leave you’re entitled to. Some scenarios where it [...]

11 10, 2019

The Gender Wage Gap Is Alive and Well in 2019

By |2019-10-11T22:03:51+00:00October 11th, 2019|Workplace Discrimination|0 Comments

And It May Actually Be Worse Than We Thought Women make $.80 for every dollar men earn in the workforce, right? That’s the most common statistic that’s floated around. But actually, according to a recent study by the Women’s Policy Research Institute, the picture is much worse. The study found that over a 15-year period, women earn barely half of what men earn—only $.49 on the dollar. The study found that women earn less than men across almost all occupations for which there was enough data to test the theory. And for jobs performed by predominantly men or women, the jobs dominated by women paid approximately $.66 on the dollar compared to those dominated by men. These statistics are also affected by race. Across the board, women of color earned less than white women.  So what can women do if they believe they are being paid less than male coworkers? 1. Check your employment contract Some employment contracts expressly forbid employees discussing their compensation with each other. But it may be impossible to determine whether you’re being underpaid unless you can have a frank conversation with your coworkers. At the beginning of this process, check your contract to see whether [...]

20 07, 2019

Are Gen Xers About to Get Hit With an Age-Discrimination Epidemic?

By |2019-07-20T18:53:06+00:00July 20th, 2019|Workplace Discrimination|0 Comments

Or Has it Already Started? When the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its statistics on the number and types of workplace discrimination cases it handled in 2018, age discrimination was among the top five. This type of discrimination is typically associated with the Baby Boomer generation. But Gen Xers, born between roughly 1961 and 1981, are already feeling its sting. Problems in the Tech Industry Some industries are worse offenders than others. The tech industry is among the worst; according to the Visier Insights Report, the average tech worker is five years younger than the average worker in other industries, and so is the average manager. Ads for jobs in this industry frequently feature dog-whistle phrases such as “digital native” that specifically exclude older workers without making that exclusion overt. The reason that phrase is problematic? It refers specifically to people who were raised from childhood in a digital environment, as opposed to “digital immigrants” who came to that environment in adulthood. It targets Gen Xers for exclusion because many people in this generation experienced an analog childhood and a digital adulthood—making them unique from both Baby Boomers and Millennials. It also makes them, in this discriminatory parlance, “digital [...]

19 06, 2019

Can You Guess the Top 5 Forms of Workplace Discrimination?

By |2019-07-16T20:23:18+00:00June 19th, 2019|Workplace Discrimination|0 Comments

Some of These May Surprise You Every year, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) releases the number and types of workplace discrimination cases it handled in the prior year. This year, there were a few key changes in the data—and some points that stayed stubbornly consistent with prior years. The top causes of workplace discrimination brought to the EEOC in 2018 include: 1. Retaliation (51.6%): Of all the cases brought to the EEOC in 2018, retaliation was by far the most common—representing more than half of all cases. It’s been this way for the past ten years, and the numbers are going up.  Retaliation involves an employer punishing an employee for standing up against discrimination at work or blowing the whistle on unlawful activity. Some forms of retaliation include: Firing youReprimanding you or giving you a poor evaluationTransferring you to a worse location or job assignmentSubjecting you to increased scrutiny or criticismVerbally or physically abusing youThreatening to take action against you with the authoritiesRetaliating against your friends or family membersChanging your schedule to conflict with your commitments outside of work This isn’t a complete list. As long as your employer’s behavior would deter a reasonable person from speaking up, [...]

19 03, 2019

What Are Your Rights Under USERRA?

By |2019-05-06T19:28:30+00:00March 19th, 2019|Workplace Discrimination|0 Comments

Deployment Shouldn’t Result in Unemployment It’s not easy serving your country as a military reservist while holding down a full-time civilian job. You could get deployed for years at a time—and what will happen to your job while you’re away? USERRA is the law that ensures you’ll have a job to return to after your service. Here’s how it works. What Is USERRA? USERRA is the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act. It provides job protection for military reservists while they’re deployed. Under USERRA, you are entitled to be re-employed in the position you would have had if you hadn’t left for military service, with the same status, pay, and seniority. This is sometimes referred to as the “escalator principle,” and the idea is that you shouldn’t have to suffer civilian career setbacks because of your military service. If you need to retrain or update your skills to qualify for the position you’re entitled to, your employer should facilitate that for you. If there’s no way to qualify for the “escalator” position you would have had if you hadn’t been deployed, you are entitled to re-employment in another equivalent position. How Long Does USERRA Protect Your Job? In the [...]

9 01, 2019

The Pay Gap is Real: What Women Need to Know

By |2019-01-10T01:30:48+00:00January 9th, 2019|Workplace Discrimination|0 Comments

The Equal Pay Act offers protection If you suspect you’re not making as much as your male colleagues, you’re not alone. This is, sadly, far more common than you’d think in 2019. But you do have options—and you can fight back. Many women get paid less than men who are in the same roles, despite having similar experience and education. What is the Equal Pay Act? The Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963 by President Kennedy as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It mandates that employers provide “equal pay for equal work.”   That phrase refers to the expectation that employees in the same workplace be paid the same, regardless of gender, race, and other factors—although the phrase is usually used to refer to the gender wage gap. The “pay” in “equal pay” refers not just to salary, but also bonuses, allowances, and benefits. The Equal Pay Act establishes that people of all genders must be paid the same for work that requires similar: SkillEffortResponsibilityDone under similar working conditionsIn the same establishment This is true even when the jobs aren’t 100% identical. Here’s a breakdown of what each requirement means: Skill: All the experiences, abilities, education, and [...]

3 04, 2018

Have You Been Retaliated Against For Asserting Your Rights At Work?

By |2018-04-03T14:58:46+00:00April 3rd, 2018|Workplace Discrimination, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

What is Retaliation? Retaliation takes place when an employee engages in "protected activity" and his or her employer takes “adverse action” against the employee because of that activity. An employee engages in protected activity when he or she objects to, or opposes, unlawful conduct such as employment discrimination. For example, if an employee complains that an employer denied a promotion based on the employee’s disability, that constitutes protected activity. If the employer transfers the employee to a less desirable job as a result of the complaint, that would constitute an adverse action and therefore, retaliation. Adverse actions include denial of promotion, failure to hire, denial or reduction of job benefits, demotion, providing lower performance evaluations, job transfers, changing schedules, and suspension or termination of employment. Verbal or physical abuse can also be adverse actions, as well as threats designed to deter participation in protected activity, such as threatening to report immigration status or to contact the police. Retaliation means any adverse action taken by an employer that might “deter a reasonable person from engaging in protected activity.” An employer is not only prohibited from taking action against the individual who complains about unlawful conduct or files a discrimination complaint. The [...]

9 03, 2018

How To Request A Reasonable Accommodation At Work

By |2018-03-09T14:31:47+00:00March 9th, 2018|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims, Workplace Discrimination|0 Comments

What is a reasonable accommodation? The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is a modification to a disabled employee’s work environment that enables the employee to perform the “essential job functions” of his or her position. To be eligible for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, an employee must show that he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The employee can request a reasonable accommodation if a workplace obstacle prevents the employee from competing for a job in the hiring process or performing a job, or bars the employee from equal access to any employment benefit. Types of reasonable accommodations There are many types of reasonable accommodations that an employer can be required to provide to a disabled employee. An employer can be required to make the physical facilities accessible to an employee, modify the employee’s work schedule, restructure the job, reassign the employee, allow the employee to work from home, or allow the employee to take leave. For example, an employee may tell a supervisor that he or she temporarily needs to start work an [...]

23 02, 2018

Third Circuit Allows Subgroup Disparate-Impact Age Discrimination Claims

By |2018-02-23T13:37:54+00:00February 23rd, 2018|Workplace Discrimination, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

Is 50 the new 40 in age discrimination disparate-impact claims? It's been a little more than a year since the Third Circuit decided Karlo v. Pittsburgh Glass Works. In Karlo, a subgroup of employees age 50 or older alleged age discrimination in favor of younger employees who were age 40 or older – and thus also within the class of employees protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). What is a subgroup disparate-impact claim? In addition to prohibiting intentional discrimination against older workers ("disparate treatment"), the ADEA prohibits facially neutral practices that harm older workers more than younger workers ("disparate-impact"), unless the employer can show that the practice is based on “reasonable factors other than age.” A so-called “subgroup disparate-impact” claim alleges age discrimination against older workers, even though the majority of workers retained after a layoff are over 40. In other words, a “subgroup” of employees over the age of 50, within the protected class of workers over the age of 40, may claim that a reduction-in-force disproportionately impacted them due to their age. Why is the Karlo case important? In deciding Karlo, the Third Circuit allowed subgroup disparate-impact claims to proceed in the states under its [...]