Wednesday, July 17, 2013

EEOC-enforced Laws Mastered by Top Employment Discrimination Law Firm

California employees have been subjected to various kinds of discrimination in the workplace. Since some abusive employers think that they have the power over their workers, some employees fall victims to discriminate and abusive deeds of their supervisors or bosses. Fortunately, the state government of California realizes this and so it implements many anti-discrimination laws. These pieces of legislation help ensure that the rights of every worker in California are protected. What are these laws and how do these give you the protection that you need as an employee?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Discrimination is rampant in the workplace and most of the time some of the victims don’t know the remedies that could help them fight for their rights. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides a legal remedy for workers, giving them protection from Color or Racial Discrimination, Religious Discrimination, National Origin Discrimination and Sex or Gender discrimination. Through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), one victim can press charges against his or her abusive employer and receive damages for all the pain and suffering that he or she has experienced and endured.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

In the Civil Rights Act, pregnant women are also given protection. However, the statutes of sex discrimination are rather vague, closing some loopholes that some employers tend to abuse. And so, the government came up with a more appropriate law to cover the unique situation experienced by pregnant women. Under this law, discriminatory acts against mothers are prohibited, which include discrimination as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or when they experience a medical condition related to both pregnancy and childbirth. Moreover, employers cannot retaliate against a pregnant employee after she has complained about being a victim and filing a discrimination charge, or for being part of an investigation or lawsuit about employment discrimination.

Equal Pay Act of 1963

Some employees, especially women are common victims of discrimination, especially when it comes to their wages. That is why in 1963, the Equal Pay Act (EPA) was implemented. Under this law, employers are prohibited from paying different wages to men and women given that they are performing equal work in the same workplace. Moreover, this law prevents employers from retaliating against one person for complaining and filing a charge of discrimination. Employers also can’t retaliate against someone who submitted him or herself to a discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

People over the age of 40 are more likely to get subjected to discrimination because of their age. That is why this law offers protection to these people from discrimination because of their age as well as retaliation for filing a charge or taking part of an investigation for employment discrimination.

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

A person with disability needs all the help that he or she can get to help boost their effectiveness and productivity in the workplace. However, the sad truth is that people with disabilities are falling victims of discrimination. And so this law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the workplace. Under this law, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified employees with known physical or mental limitations.

Sections 102 and 103 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991

This amendment to the 1964 version of the Civil Rights Act is aimed to allow jury trials and compensatory as well as punitive damage awards in cases of intentional discrimination.

Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

This law helps guarantee that qualified people with disability in the federal government won’t be falling victims to different kinds of discrimination. Like any anti-discrimination laws mentioned, retaliation against people filing a complaint under this law as well as those that have been a part of investigations for any act of discrimination is prohibited. Moreover, this law also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation for qualified people with known physical or mental limitations.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

This specific law was especially made to help give protection to people from being discriminated because of genetic information or any information about a disease, disorder, or condition of a person’s family members. As mentioned above, retaliation is also prohibited for employees who files a case or participates in an investigation of any case of discrimination.

The secret of a victim’s victory in employment discrimination case relies on the good preparation of his or her case and the best representation in the courts. That is why it is critical to hire the services of top California employment discrimination lawyers to help you out with your claims. Good Employment Discrimination lawyers will bolster your chances of winning your claim, letting you get the justice that you truly deserve. Workers are very important in making sure that the country’s economy moves forward. That is why employee rights should be upheld and protected at all times.

Employment Harassment Claims in California

Explaining the Various Employment Harassment Claims in California

Every Los Angeles, California employee, is entitled to his or her right to work in a harassment-free working environment. But then, a lot of them face such a form of unfair treatment in the workplace, as well as other discriminatory acts while performing their job duties. As it is, this employment issue happens in every aspect of one’s work, from the hiring process to his or her termination. While harassment is prohibited under the existing federal and state employment and labor laws, some employers disregard them, failing to address such matters involving their employees who are being subjected to unfair treatment, discrimination, and a hostile working environment.

As an employee in California who is continuously being subjected to harassment, it is important that you assert your rights and address the issue head-on. Some employees find it difficult to speak up on the matter out of fear of getting demoted, deprived of salary or compensation, or even terminated from employment. As such, consulting the best California employment harassment lawyers is the best solution if you think your co-worker or immediate superior’s persistent discriminatory treatment is too much for you to handle.

About employment harassment in California employment

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), harassment is any unwelcome conduct by your immediate superior or co-worker which targets your race, color, religion, sex (to include pregnancy), national origin, age (if you are 40 years or older), or disability. While this is a typical workplace issue in California, not all circumstances of harassment are actionable in the courts of law. There are instances wherein Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents are not considered illegal under the current federal and state employment and labor laws. Employment harassment is only unlawful if these elements are present:

·         The conduct should be sufficiently pervasive or severe;
·         The employee endures such conduct as a condition of continued employment;
·         Such conduct promotes a hostile, intimidating, or abusive work environment; and
·         It causes a tangible change in an employee’s benefit or status.

Aside from harassment on the basis of a person’s protected characteristic, it also becomes unlawful if the employer, co-worker, or immediate superior harasses an employee just because he or she is engaged in a “protected activity.” Examples of which is filing a discrimination charge against his or her employer, testifying or participating in an investigation, proceeding or lawsuit against his or her employer, and refusing to take part in an illegal employment activity. Under the prevailing federal and state employment and labor laws, it is prohibited for employers to harass individuals in retaliation for the latter’s involvement in a “protected activity.”

Moreover, conduct that is considered pervasive or severe may include, but not limited to, the following:

·         Name-calling;
·         Jokes and slurs that are offensive in nature;
·         Intimidation, ridicule, or mockery; and
·         Digital or print media that are offensive in nature.

Typical employment harassment claims in California

Employment harassment claims usually involve the victim’s race, color, gender, sex, religion, national origin, disability, and age, among the many legally protected characteristics. Harassers in such claims usually involve the manager or supervisor of the victim, as well as the boss of the company, a co-worker, or even a non-employee.

A common employment harassment claim in California involves sexual harassment. According to a top employment harassment lawyer, it is illegal for an employer to sexually harass employees, regardless if they are male or female or that the harasser is either a male or a female. This form of harassment involves sexual misconduct that is physical, verbal or visual in nature. It may also involve the harasser requiring an employee to give in to sexual advances or favors in exchange for a promotion, salary raise, or any advancement in employment. Such is called quid pro quo sexual harassment, and an employee who refuses may likely be subjected to further pervasive conduct, which, in turn, would create a hostile work environment.

Seeking legal expertise with an experienced lawyer

Before you seek the legal expertise of any experienced California employment harassment lawyers, you must first provide your employer the opportunity to address your situation. You must first provide your human resources department a written complaint of the issue, and if it reaches your employer but fails to take action on it, then you can exercise your legal action. It is at this point that you hire a seasoned Los Angeles harassment lawyer in California to help you establish an employment harassment claim against your employer.

California Pregnancy Discrimination Law

Pregnancy Discrimination Law: Taking Care of Expectant Mothers in the Workplace

Pregnancy is a very challenging time for any woman. During this stage of their lives, they need love and the best care possible, especially with the ladies in the workplace. However, there are times when they fall victims of abuse and discrimination while at work. With Pregnancy Discrimination in California and many parts of the country being rampant, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was made into law. This provisions aiming to protect pregnant women, and a California Sex Discrimination Lawyer believe these have loopholes. These lapses let some rude employees get away with their discriminating acts, putting pregnant workers in dire situations. And so, an amendment to this law, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was made.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act and its coverage

Being an amendment to Title VII, this law explicitly highlights the prohibition of discrimination based on the pregnancy of an individual. What this means is that employers cannot make employment-related decisions like one’s hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits like leave and health insurance, and other terms or conditions of employment based on one’s pregnancy. This gives protection to pregnant women, preventing them to fall victims of abusive and discriminating employers,

For pregnant women suffering from temporary disability

Under the PDA, a woman that is unable to perform her job because of pregnancy or childbirth-related medical condition must be treated in the same way one treat a temporarily disabled employee. Because of this law, an employer must extend the necessary accommodation for the female worker during the time of her pregnancy. Things like assigning a pregnant employee to do light duty tasks, giving alternative assignments, allowing disability leaves or unpaid leaves should also be given to pregnant women the way some temporarily disabled individuals receive such benefits.

In some unique instances, women suffer from different impairments during their pregnancy. A pregnant woman that contacts gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, is covered in the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). In such cases, an employer should provide reasonable accommodation a pregnant woman suffering from any of the given situation.

PDA against discrimination and harassment in the workplace

Also under this law, all kinds of discrimination are being prohibited. No pregnant woman should be exposed to any form of discrimination. Any act that creates or promotes a hostile work environment is strictly prohibited. Also, any employment decision such as termination or demotion based on the condition of the pregnant employee can be considered an act of discrimination and is punishable under this law.

Special leave benefits under the PDA

It is perfectly understandable that a pregnant woman may feel sick every now and then. The PDA also has that covered. Under this law, an employer is required to allow a pregnant woman to take disability leaves or unpaid leaves, just like it would a temporarily disabled employee. Also, employers must not single out conditions related to pregnancy in determining an employee’s capability to work. What is allowed though is for employers to require its workers to secure a doctor’s statement if they are fit to work before these leave or sick benefits are to be granted and paid.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993

The PDA may be well-thought but this law alone does not cover all of the issues faced by pregnant employees. That is why other laws are created to augment the PDA and ensure that all of the rights of pregnant employees are addressed. One of these laws is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under this law, parents can be allowed to take 12 weeks of leave paid or unpaid. Such leaves can be used by an individual to take care of a new child. One employee must at least have been able to work for 12 months before the leave was taken to be allowed to do so.

Other workplace laws for pregnant employees

More than the leaves and protection that the PDA and the FMLA offer, there are also some provisions like allowing nursing mothers the right to express milk in the workplace as dictated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These laws are created to ensure that every pregnant employee is extended all the help it could get to ensure a successful pregnancy.

If you have been a victim of violations under these laws, then you should find a pregnancy discrimination lawyer quick. However, not any lawyer would do as you need the services of someone who’s an expert when it comes to employment and labor laws in California. A pregnancy discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles, California has better knowledge of these statutes and can help you tremendously in ensuring that you get to fight for your right and improve your chances of succeeding with your claims.

The Benefits of California Disability Discrimination Law

Accommodation and Protection: The Benefits of California Disability Discrimination Law for Differently-abled Americans

In a perfect world, everybody’s made equal. There are no weaknesses and disabilities to battle with. Impossible is nothing and everybody can do anything they can think of. However, in the real world, some people are more blessed than others. There are even people who live with limited capabilities because of disabilities. Two people born with it, every day is such a big challenge and proving one’s self is too difficult knowing that a lot of people tend to underestimate you. Putting insult to injury, there are people who look down on them and their capabilities, especially in the workplace.

The birth of the Americans with Disabilities Act

In California, disability discrimination exists just like in any other state in the country. Because of the continuous discrimination that people with disabilities get from others, the government has come up with the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Under this law, workplace discrimination is strictly prohibited and that includes people with disabilities. However, according to some Disability Discrimination lawyers, because the law’s focus is too broad, it was unavoidable for some lawmakers at that time to miss anything about say a particular kind of discrimination. And so the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is implemented. With this amendment, now a job-qualified individual with a disability is protected from discrimination in the workplace. No employer can refuse to hire a qualified individual just because of his or her disability. Moreover, an employee cannot be treated less favorably by an employer just because of the same disability. Furthermore, an employer cannot make employment decisions like firing, determination of pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training's, and deny fringe benefits to an employee based on his or her disability.

Protection during employment application and interview stage

An employer must not have prejudice over employees with disabilities. The law requires employers to look beyond the disabilities of an individual and focus on the skills that one worker can offer a company. In the end an employer cannot choose not to hire a prospective employee just because of his or her disabilities. An employer must hire a disabled applicant if he or she fits the requirements needed for the position he or she is applying for. Discriminating against an applicant is punishable under the ADA.

Protection against harassment

There are many forms of harassment. It could be in the form of harassment of a normal individual to one with a disability. It could also be through making offensive remarks about one person’s disability, or anything that promotes a hostile or offensive working environment. A Los Angeles Disability Attorney believes that this is a form of discrimination harassment. That is why all of these are prohibited under the ADA.

Providing reasonable accommodation

Disabled people may have lost one of their capabilities but that doesn’t mean that they cannot contribute to an institution. More than anything, these people need everyone’s help to make them more productive members of the work team. That is why employers are required to give reasonable accommodation to their disabled employees. An employer should extend all the help that they could a disabled worker unless the needed help causes undue difficulty or expense to the owner or its other workers.

Disability Discrimination in California

The State of California has some of the most comprehensive laws to protect the rights of its workers. In addition to the ADA, disabled workers in California are also protected by the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which prohibits discrimination and harassment against employees with disabilities. According to a Disability Discrimination Attorney in California, laws against disability discrimination are just some of these laws that protect people with disabilities from harassment in the workplace.

If you are a person with a disability and you have been a victim of such acts of discrimination in the workplace, you don’t have to suffer silently. You can ask for the help of Disability discrimination lawyers in California and they will be there to help you. File the necessary complaints against those people who discriminated against you. Your disabilities might prevent you from doing some things that some people can do but that don’t make you any less of a person. Because in the end, it is never about your disabilities; it is your skills and contributions that matter in a workplace.

About California Sexual Harassment Claims

Most employees in California are fortunate enough to be protected by its extensive employment and labor laws, particularly the federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). 

These laws may be similar and different in many ways, but employment agencies that enforce them, such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) make it a point to go after employers that continually subject their employees to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

One of the common employment issues in California employment that is prohibited under Title VII and the FEHA is sexual harassment. According to EEOC’s statistics, the federal employment agency receives around 2,000 of sexual harassment claims in California every year. While it is prohibited under the two laws, covered employers find it hard to eliminate such occurrences in their workplaces, which explain why sexual harassment claims are filed almost persistently every year. According to many California sexual harassment lawyers, it is important for employees who are being victimized by such form of unfair workplace treatment to assert their rights by seeking immediate legal actions.

Sexual harassment in California

Basically, sexual harassment in California is categorized under sex discrimination. Like any other form of employment harassment, it is any unwelcome sexual conduct or action made to an employee in any aspect of his or her employment. This form of harassment in the workplace does not have to be sexual in nature; it may also involve making offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For instance, a female employee is harassed by her immediate superior by making offensive comments pertaining to women in general.

Moreover, a certain action such as a petty slight, annoyance, or isolated incident of sexual nature may not be considered illegal. As long as it is not persistent, an immediate superior, coworkers, or an employer may not be held liable for sexual harassment. It is only illegal under the federal and state employment and labor laws if these elements are present:

·         The sexual conduct is pervasive or severe;
·         The sexual conduct promotes a hostile work environment; and
·         The kind of working environment the employee is subjected into causes a tangible change in his or her employment status or benefits.

Circumstances involving California sexual harassment claims

California sexual harassment claims often involve certain circumstances such as the following:

·     The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, manager, or any immediate superior,  a   co-worker, or even a non-employee.
·      The victim and the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex; a male (or female) victim can be harassed by an immediate superior of the same sex.
·      The victim does not have to be the person directly harassed; anyone could be affected by the offensive conduct, e.g. the victim’s co-worker.

Moreover, certain claims can be one or a combination of the following classifications of sexual harassment; namely verbal, physical, or visual. Such sexual harassment is verbal if it involves name-calling, making repeated sexual innuendos, and blurting inappropriate jokes or remarks about an individual’s outfit. It is considered physical sexual harassment if the harasser makes unwanted physical contact towards the victim, such as stroking, groping, or touching. Visual sexual harassment happens if the harasser shows or displays digital or print material that is sexually offensive in nature, to include not only photos, but also correspondences such as e-mails or letters.

Further, there are claims in which the harasser requires the victim to engage in sexual activity so that the latter can be eligible for advancement such as a job promotion or salary raise. This is what sexual harassment lawyers in California call quid pro quo sexual harassment. Refusing to give in to such demands may result in the victim facing an adverse employment decision, such as demotion or even termination.

Legal advice for sexual harassment victims

If you have been sexually harassed by one of your co-workers or your immediate superiors, it should be imperative that you exercise your rights as an employee. You must file a written complaint with your employer’s human resources department right away, but if such action does not provide you the needed result, then it would be best that you file a formal complaint with either the EEOC or the DFEH. Alternately, you may consult with our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers.

About California’s Sex Discrimination Law

Employees, regardless of their sex, must be equally treated in the workplace. However, there are instances wherein employers find it difficult to maintain such equal opportunity, as well as avoid any acts that are deemed discriminatory and, thus, illegal under the prevailing federal and state employment statutes. For instance, there are cases wherein immediate superiors subject their employees to sexual harassment. 

There are also cases wherein employers refused a qualified female applicant a job opening just because she is pregnant. Worse, the case of unequal pay and compensation still rages on in most workplaces despite the prevailing federal law that makes it a requirement for covered employers to provide equal pay for men and women in the same workplace. These instances are what we all refer to as sex discrimination.

According to California sex discrimination attorneys, it is a type of workplace prejudice which involves treating an applicant or an employee unfavorably because of that person’s sex. It also describes the less preferential treatment of a certain individual because of his or her connection with an organization or group that is associated with people of a certain sex. Under the prevailing federal and California employment laws, employers operating in the state are prohibited to discriminate against employees or applicants on the basis of sex in any aspect of employment, from hiring, termination, to any other employment term or condition.

Various federal and California laws forbidding sex discrimination

The State of California protects individuals from sex discrimination, thanks to a variety of federal and state employment and labor laws. One of them is the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Under this state statute, covered employers with five or more employees are forbidden to discriminate, harass, or retaliate against employees and/or applicants on the basis of their sex.

Like the federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (amended via the Pregnancy Discrimination Act), the FEHA’s definition of “sex” also prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of one’s pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. This means that employers cannot subject female applicants or employees to discrimination, especially in the hiring process and termination just because she is pregnant, or has given birth to her newborn, among other instances. In addition, the FEHA further expanded the definition of “sex” to include breastfeeding.

According to a sex discrimination attorney in Los Angeles, California, employers covered by the FEHA cannot also discriminate, harass, or retaliate against employees or applicants just because of his or her gender identity and gender expression. For instance, an employer cannot refuse a transgender applicant a job just because he or she wears clothing that is not on par with his or her biological sex. Recent legislations in California clarified this broad classification, which included gender identity and expression under FEHA’s “sex” definition.

Moreover, under both Title VII and the FEHA, employers are prohibited from sexually harassing employees or applicants. Such conduct is classified under sex discrimination, and they may include sexually offensive and obscene jokes, slurs, and unwanted physical contact. There are others, however, in which the harasser’s comment or statement towards the victim is not sexual in nature, especially if it pertains to that person’s sex or general perception of his or her sex. Sexual harassment only occurs if the conduct is severe or pervasive, and is done persistently enough to result in a hostile and abusive working environment, which may lead to a tangible change in one’s employment benefits or status.

Furthermore, the federal Equal Pay Act prohibits sex discrimination, this time on the basis of one’s pay and compensation. Under said law, men and women working in the same workplace must be given equal pay for equal work. The jobs of both genders must be substantially equal but not necessarily identical. The law covers all forms of compensation and pay, from salary, overtime, bonuses, insurance, vacation and holiday pay, and other benefits.

Seeking legal action with a sex discrimination lawyer

Nobody wants to be sexually harassed or discriminated against in employment on the basis of your sex. But if you are being targeted continuously by your co-worker or immediate superior because of it, then it is a must that you exercise your rights immediately to stop sex discrimination and harassment once and for all. If your complaint with your employer’s human resources department yielded no results, you may consult with one of the best California sex discrimination attorneys to help you establish your claim against your employer.