San Francisco Bay Area readers might be interested to learn that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently began investigating a pregnancy discrimination case filed against Google by a former employee. The plaintiff reportedly lodged a complaint against the California-based company in late 2019. The EEOC transferred the claim to its investigative division on Feb. 19.
Putting in many years on the job in California could result in age discrimination instead of rewards for hard work. An AARP report examined the economic consequences of workplace age discrimination. The report predicted that lower pay for older adults could cost the whole economy trillions of dollars by 2050. This will happen because older adults comprise a growing segment of the population. With more people earning less than they should, the overall economy misses out. As things stand now, researchers predict that older workers will contribute $28.2 trillion to the economy by 2050. If they did not face discrimination, then that figure could be $32.1 trillion.
The entertainment industry in California has been the site of a number of serious sexual harassment allegations in recent years. After all, the #MeToo movement developed out of revelations about alleged harassment and assaults committed by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Many of the harassment victims who have since come forward have included high-profile executives, professionals and actors. Now, the Grammy Awards are also coming under scrutiny after the suspended CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences filed a workplace discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that she was retaliated against for reporting unwanted sexual advances.
Workers in California may be familiar with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The legislation aims to protect workers over 40 from being adversely impacted at work because of their age. However, a recent AARP study found that ageism in the workplace is still a significant problem. The report states that most employers don't emphasize avoiding discrimination based on age because laws protecting older workers are relatively weak.
While media attention has shed a light on sexual harassment and abuse in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere, employees continue to suffer from harassment and unwanted sexual attention on the job. According to a study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, almost 1 out of every 18 women and 1 out of every 40 men has been subjected to sexual harassment in and around their workplaces. These statistics mean that around 10 million Americans could report some form of unwanted sexual contact, harassment or physical sexual assault by a supervisor, client, co-worker or boss, according to researchers.
Employers in California and around the country are prohibited from discriminating against pregnant women by the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and protections for breastfeeding mothers were added to the Fair Labor Standards Act in 2010. A lawsuit recently filed by a group of female flight attendants and pilots accuses Frontier Airlines of violating these laws. The women say that they were forced to take unpaid leave while they were pregnant and were denied reasonable breastfeeding accommodations.
Despite state and federal laws designed to ensure safe working environments and address harassment in the workplace, it is possible that some people in California will have to endure continuing to work with their harassers. In a study that examined 60 arbitration cases where individuals who were accused of harassing behavior challenged the decisions of the employer, the discipline originally ordered was not upheld in 48% of cases. Most of the time, the discipline originally ordered was termination.
Despite the existence of state, federal and even local human rights and anti-discrimination ordinances, some workers in San Francisco continue to experience discrimination on the job. Going through sexual harassment or discrimination can be an emotionally draining experience, especially on top of the financial and professional hits that accompany this type of mistreatment. Workers have a right not to face discrimination in hiring, firing or promotions due to their protected characteristics, which include race, sex, disability, religion, national origin, age and often sexual orientation or gender identity. Workers also have the right to be free of harassment based on these characteristics, including sexual harassment.
California readers might be interested to learn that a former WeWork employee is suing the company and its recently ousted CEO over alleged gender discrimination claims. The complaint was filed on Oct. 31.
Female bosses in California and throughout the country are more likely to face discrimination from both male and female employees. This was the key takeaway from a study that involved 2,700 workers. These individuals were hired to transcribe receipts, and some of them received feedback from the person who they thought was their manager for the project. It was discovered that workers were more likely to react negatively to poor or critical feedback from a female manager.