In California and most other states, discrimination is illegal, but it doesn't mean that it can't happen. An email chain that was started on March 20 and includes a number of female Microsoft employees caught the attention of senior leaders within the organization. The chain was started by a woman who had worked for the company for six years and was looking for tips on how to get a promotion.
Those who sue a California employer or any other in a Title VII case can obtain a maximum of $300,000 in compensation. The cap has been the same since 1991, and it isn't widely believed to be a deterrent. However, a professor at Vanderbilt University said that the cap should be $7.6 million. This figure was developed in part based on the theory that workers get paid more when they take on extra risk.
In a lawsuit filed in a California district court on March 8, the U.S. women's soccer team accuses the sport's governing body of gender discrimination. The litigation alleges that the United States Soccer Federation, which is more commonly referred to as U.S. Soccer, pays female players less than men even though they perform substantially similar work. The lawsuit is the latest development in a long-running pay equity dispute and comes just months before the women's team begins its defense of the World Cup it won in 2015. The victory was America's third in the competition.
Employees at a California-based company have alleged in a class action lawsuit that the company discriminates against nursing mothers. According to the lawsuit, although state law protects the rights of breastfeeding mothers, they are not allowed breaks and are laughed at when they request them.
For many San Francisco technology workers, age discrimination remains a serious concern. According to one survey, 43 percent of tech employees from the baby boom generation are concerned about losing their jobs due to their age. The survey involved over 1,000 professionals across the country, focusing on tech workers with an average of over 15 years of experience in the industry. While close to half of all employees are millennials, only 23 percent of the respondents felt that there was an overrepresentation of younger people on the job. An even smaller number, 18 percent, felt that there were too few baby boomers in the workplace.
While businesses in California and the across the United States cannot discriminate against employees for being over the age of 40, a new decision from the 7th Circuit casts doubt on whether those protections extend to the hiring process.
Employees at Google, the tech giant in California, have been challenging tech companies and urging them to change their policies with regards to workplace harassment. In particular, their main gripe pertains to forced arbitration, which requires employees of large tech companies to solve harassment issues at the company rather than taking their employers to court.
The number of workers in California facing sexual harassment at work remains largely hidden because most of them never make formal complaints. University researchers who studied the problem estimated that roughly 5 million people experience sexual harassment on the job every year. Almost all of them, 99.8 percent, never make official charges because only approximately 1,500 cases went to court during the time period of the study.
Doctors working in the San Francisco Bay Area and other parts of California generally enjoy a sizable income due to the nature of their profession. Even so, a survey published in a leading medical journal reveals that more than a third of MDs who are also mothers face discrimination in their workplaces. In an attempt to discover the reason for this trend, research authors dove deeper and looked at more than 900 comments from the nearly 6,000 physicians who responded to the anonymous survey.
The heads of several San Francisco city agencies vowed to do more to eliminate race discrimination in their departments during a volatile November 11 Board of Supervisors hearing, but many of the African-American workers gathered were unimpressed by what they heard. They and advocacy groups like the Service Employees International Union say that little has changed since San Francisco Mayor London Breed made similar statements when the board's Government Audit and Oversight Committee discussed the very same issues in September.