New York residents may be dismayed to learn that discrimination against pregnant employees remains widespread even though federal and state laws exist that are intended to protect them. This discrimination might range from firing employees who say that they are pregnant to refusing accommodations such as lighter duties or a stool to sit on.
In employment ads in New York and across the country, a new term is being used by employers who are apparently seeking younger applicants. Rather than asking for "new grads" or "young blood," which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says is illegal and in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, employers are now asking for "digital natives."
Millions of Americans suffer severe hearing impairments that make it difficult for them to communicate. Although such impairments may result from many things, people who are exposed to loud noises or sounds at work may also have permanent hearing losses as a result.
On April 1, a 22-year-old transgender woman from Brooklyn filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against clothing store Forever 21 claiming that the management at one of their New York locations harassed her. The federal lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Pregnant workers in New York may be interested in hearing about a new qualifying test used in pregnancy discrimination cases, developed by the Supreme Court in conjunction with a March 2015 decision. For the new tests, lower courts need to look at employers' accommodations of non-pregnant workers unable to work in their regular positions to determine whether workplace discrimination has taken place. The law also require for lower courts to examine whether discrimination appears to be intentional and whether a company has non-discriminatory reasons for treating pregnant employees differently.
Employers in New York and nationwide are watching the workplace discrimination lawsuits emerging against giant technology companies. Following on the heels of the high-profile gender discrimination case against the venture capital company Kleiner Perkins, Facebook has now been named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a former female employee of Chinese descent.
As many New York workers know, some employers have health wellness programs for employees. Joining wellness programs may have a positive effect on some workers' health and possibly insurance premiums. Even the Affordable Care Act allows for a different premium based on participation in such schemes.
For the most part, an employer may mandate that a worker wear a certain uniform while on the clock. If an employee needs or wants to wear something outside of that dress code for religious purposes, an employer is generally required to make reasonable accommodations. However, the employer is not required to do anything that would cause an undue hardship to the company.
Some readers from New York may be interested to learn that Saks & Co. is facing criticism over a discrimination lawsuit. Media sources say that an ex-employee was allegedly fired from Saks for issues related to her transgender status. In its defense, Saks issued a filing requesting the lawsuit's dismissal because the employee is not entitled to Title VII protection under the Civil Rights Act.
A former steel worker from ArcelorMittal Steel was awarded approximately $4 million by an appeals court after he filed a lawsuit against the company for the harassment and racial insults he endured while working there. The lawsuit was filed in 2012, and he was initially awarded $25 million. It was later lowered to the current amount when the company appealed the initial ruling.