Workplace Discrimination

12 04, 2019

What Are Your Rights Under USERRA?

By | 2019-04-12T19:26:54+00:00 April 12th, 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+00:00 January 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+00:00 April 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+00:00 March 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+00:00 February 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 [...]

15 09, 2017

Can You Be Fired for Your Political Views?

By | 2017-09-25T00:38:30+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Workplace Discrimination|0 Comments

What all employees should know about at-will employment Political arguments seem to be heating up everywhere, including the workplace. That can lead to some uncomfortable situations, especially if you disagree with your boss or if you hold an unpopular opinion compared to the rest of the company’s workforce. That raises a host of interesting questions, such as: Can you lose your job because of your political views? How does free speech factor in? How are your rights different if you work for a public employer? Let’s dig in to some of these questions. Yes, You Can Be Fired Over Politics It may seem unfair, but yes, most employees can be fired for expressing political beliefs that the boss finds unsavory. That’s because many states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, are at-will employment states. That means that unless a narrow category of exceptions applies, employers generally have the right to terminate employees at any time, for any reason – or even for no reason at all. In a very broad sense, that means that you could be potentially lawfully terminated because your boss doesn’t agree with the political ideas that you’ve expressed in person or on social media. However, it’s important [...]

5 05, 2017

Is Sexual Orientation Discrimination Illegal? A Federal Court Just Said Yes

By | 2017-05-05T19:16:20+00:00 May 5th, 2017|Workplace Discrimination|0 Comments

Lesbian worker says giving her partner a goodbye kiss before work ruined her career For many people, giving their significant other a goodbye kiss is just part of their daily routine.  But a lesbian college professor claims that doing so may have ruined her career. She’s suing, alleging that her supervisor torpedoed her job aspirations after he spotted her giving her girlfriend a kiss before she got out of the car for work. While this case was prompted by some seemingly mundane details from ordinary life, the issues at stake are far from ordinary — and could have a huge impact on workplace discrimination laws. Let’s talk about how this case could affect workplace rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) workers. Law Was Silent on Sexual Orientation Discrimination Federal workplace discrimination laws bar discrimination based on a variety of characteristics, including age, race, religion, and gender, just to name a few. However, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the main law that prohibits employment discrimination, was silent on sexual orientation. The question was “why?” Was it because Congress did not intend to include sexual orientation as a protected characteristic? Or was it because in [...]

10 01, 2017

Do You Have to Disclose Your Salary History?  New Philadelphia Law Says No

By | 2017-01-10T21:59:18+00:00 January 10th, 2017|Workplace Discrimination|0 Comments

Legislation is intended to help close the wage gap between men and women Women in the City of Philadelphia may have just gotten a hand in the fight for fair wages. Philadelphia just became the first city in the nation to pass legislation outlawing questions about salary history. The ordinance is intended to help close the wage gap between men and women by breaking the cycle of wage disparity that may occur over a woman’s working life. Let’s take a look at what the law says and what it means to you. Gaps Within the Wage Gap The wage equity ordinance is not a done deal yet, but it’s a pretty sure bet that it will become a law very soon. The bill was approved by the Philadelphia City Council in December and is set to become a law 120 days after it’s signed by the mayor. Mayor Jim Kenney has already indicated that he intends to approve the law. The intention of the impending law is to help ensure that worker compensation is based on skills and responsibilities, rather than salary history. That way, a woman’s pay will not remain unfairly skewed because of prior jobs with low pay. [...]

8 12, 2016

Small Step Forward in Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claims

By | 2016-12-08T20:29:55+00:00 December 8th, 2016|Workplace Discrimination|0 Comments

Federal court refuses to throw out case from gay male employee A judge in Pennsylvania just opened the door a little wider for discrimination claims alleging sexual orientation bias. A federal district court here is allowing a case about sexual orientation discrimination to proceed, despite efforts by the defendant company to have the case thrown out. The company says that the claims made by its former employee – a gay man who claims that he was driven off the job because he didn’t conform to sex stereotypes – are not valid. But the court disagreed with that argument. Let’s dig in to the details of this case a bit and then discuss how it could impact the rights of LGBTQ employees. Manager’s Bad Behavior Was Accepted Dale Baxley was a telemarketer for Scott Medical Center for approximately one month. He claims that he would’ve liked to retain the position longer, but his supervisor, Robert McClendon, made it impossible for him to stay. Baxley, who is gay, states that McClendon continually subjected him to insulting and offensive comments about his sexuality. Baxley alleges that McClendon used anti-gay epithets and made inquiries into the specifics of Baxley’s sex life with his partner. [...]

17 11, 2016

How Do I Sue My Employer? What Employees Need to Know About the Legal Process

By | 2017-07-29T08:41:58+00:00 November 17th, 2016|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims, Family and Medical Leave Act Claims, Hostile Work Environment, Pregnancy Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Wage Theft & Unpaid Wages, Workplace Discrimination, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

What you need to do and when Filing a lawsuit against your employer can be a daunting process, especially if you’ve never had to navigate the legal system before. If you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably going to spend some time doing Internet research before you pick up the phone to call an attorney. While being informed is a great impulse, it’s also important to realize that the sooner you speak to an attorney, the more likely your complaint is going to come out to a successful conclusion. You may thinking, “Well, sure … you’re attorneys so of course you’re going to say that.” But the truth of the matter is that if you’re even considering filing a lawsuit against your employer, everything you say and do from that moment on can potentially be included in the suit. Creating a consistent and legally sound narrative from the beginning can be a significant advantage when facing off against an employer – especially if that employer has deep pockets. Let’s talk about what steps you need to take if you believe that you’ve been subjected to unlawful behavior or practices.  While it’s important to acknowledge that every situation is unique, [...]