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.
A string of recent rulings by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that seven companies that posted targeted employment ads on Facebook violated federal civil rights laws. The rulings make clear that it is illegal for companies to exclude certain demographics when advertising jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the country.
Congress originally formed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a vehicle for resolving workplace discrimination cases outside of court. When workers in California experience discrimination on the job, the law directs them to first file a complaint with the EEOC. People must await the outcome of the EEOC review of the case before potentially receiving a "right to sue" letter. This letter comes if the agency decides that the complaint lacked any reasonable cause to go forward with an enforcement action. An analysis of EEOC claims over a 21-year period showed that the agency found no reasonable cause in 87% of complaints.
Video game enthusiasts in California and throughout the country may be familiar with "League of Legends," which was produced by Riot Games. The game developer has been in the spotlight lately because of a class-action lawsuit that claimed the company engaged in gender discrimination. The suit was filed in November 2018 by both a current and former employee. It specifically claimed that they were subject to unequal pay and a lack of advancement based on their gender.
Men and women in the San Francisco Bay area may experience ageism in the workplace at roughly equal rates. This was one of the findings of a survey by the website Fairygodboss, which asked 1,000 people who were older than 40 about workplace discrimination based on age.
Google has agreed to pay $11 million to 227 plaintiffs who claimed that the company engaged in age discrimination. A settlement notice was filed in a California court. In addition to the financial component of the agreement, Google will provide training to employees and managers regarding age bias and discrimination. Furthermore, a committee will be formed to ensure that the company engages in age diversity and investigates complaints about age bias.
On Oct. 8, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on three cases involving alleged workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. Ahead of the hearing, over 200 well-known American companies have sent an amicus brief to the court, urging the justices to support federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ employees in California and across the U.S.