Blog Posts: workplace discrimination
Jobs ads that tell unemployed people not to apply are drawing attention from lawmakers. On May 31, 2012, Washington, D.C., joined New Jersey and Oregon in banning discrimination in hiring against job applicants on the basis of their unemployment status. Other states and cities are considering similar legislation, and provisions banning employment-status discrimination were introduced, but not passed, in Congress as part of the Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011 and the American Jobs Act of 2011.
The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission sued a Florida union, the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters, alleging that the union engaged in intentional racial discrimination by negotiating, in collective bargaining, in favor of promotional exams that had a disparate impact against African-American candidates.
Since 2001, there have been more than 52,000 pregnancy-discrimination claims, and employers have paid more than $150.5 million to plaintiffs in cases brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), according to testimony at a recent EEOC hearing.
Four long-time IHOP managers sued their employer, alleging that they had been verbally abused and fired because of their ethnicity and religion. All worked in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the same franchise owner, all were fired within an eight-month period, and all were replaced by Caucasian non-Muslim managers.
The EEOC issued a new rule, effective April 30, 2012, that allows employers to defend against disparate-impact age-discrimination claims by showing that the practices involved are based on “reasonable factors other than age (RFOA).” Disparate-impact practices are those that do not involve intentional discrimination but are more harmful to workers age 40 and over than to younger workers. The RFOA regulation applies only to disparate-impact claims; it does not apply to claims of intentional age discrimination.
Federal law prohibits discrimination against workers 40 and over in all aspects of employment. In an unusual age-discrimination lawsuit, a woman is suing her former employer, alleging that she was fired for refusing to dye her gray hair.
Since the beginning of the Great Recession of 2008, American workers have filed record numbers of discrimination complaints with the federal government. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that the all-time peak came in 2011 with nearly 100,000 complaints filed. However, that figure was only slightly higher than the number filed in 2010.
While many of the country's leading companies make a highly visible effort to welcome and encourage diversity, some companies seem stuck in the past. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently sued Mavis Discount Tire, a company that sells automobile parts and services. According to the lawsuit, Mavis hired 1,300 new managers, mechanics and tire installers over a three-year period -- and not a single one of those new hires was a woman.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has proposed significant changes to federal rules designed to protect individuals with disabilities from workplace discrimination
Supreme Court Considers Sex-Discrimination Class-Action Suit against Walmart The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last week on whether six women alleging workplace sex discrimination may represent as many as 1.5 million other women in a class-action lawsuit against Walmart, the nation's largest retailer. The issue before the Court is not whether discrimination occurred, but whether all of the women alleging discrimination have enough in common to join together in one lawsuit.