Phoenix Arizona Discrimination Law Blog

Overweight workers may face harassment and discrimination at work

The average American is overweight, but you would have no idea of that fact based on the media. The representation of America's population in movies and on television skew disproportionately toward attractive and fit younger adults. That appearance bias trickles down into every other section of our culture and lives.

As a result, overweight Americans face a stigma that most other adults have never experienced. That stigma can result in bullying or discrimination in the workplace. No one should have to endure mistreatment by their boss or co-workers because of their physical fitness or weight. Unless either of those factors is critical to the performance of the job, it should not affect decisions about hiring, firing or promotions.

How ageism impacts tech workers

While workers in Arizona and elsewhere may make more money than their peers, they may also be more likely to be terminated. This can be especially true in a place like Silicon Valley, and it can be in spite of the fact that many workers see a link between age and wisdom. Age discrimination is relatively common in the tech sector even though it is forbidden by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

It says that any worker who is over the age of 40 is in a protected class. The state of California also has similar legislation in place to protect older workers. There have been 250 age discrimination claims made under this legislation since 2008, and many cases have advanced through courts at the state and federal level. On average, tech workers are five years younger than those in other fields.

Was your termination a breach of contract?

Imagine you've been working in the same job -- at the same law firm -- for the last 16 years. When you started at the company, you were in your early 20s, straight out of college, and now you're almost 40.

You gave your youth to that job, and you found it rewarding, but last week you were unexpectedly terminated from your position. That's when you decided to read the dusty old employment contract you signed so many years ago.

Woman claims discrimination, retaliation at Anthropologie

Some people in Arizona who shop at Anthropologie may have heard that a lawsuit has been filed against the owner of the company, Urban Outfitters. A 54-year-old woman says she faced retaliation after she used a company hotline to complain about her boss.

The woman claims she was told she would not get a managerial position because everyone in the company was young. She was then scheduled to work closing and opening shifts back to back for 10 days straight as well as being put on fitting room duty. The company moved her to another store, and she phoned the police after spotting a suspicious person in the store; she was then fired. A lower court said there was no proof the company's actions were retaliatory because they were not adverse enough to meet the standards of retaliation for age discrimination.

5 signs you could be the victim of workplace discrimination

It might have been a funny sensation in the pit of your stomach, or maybe it was just the way your supervisor looked at you while responding to your question. You know that -- for some superficial reason like race, gender or national origin -- your supervisor doesn't like you.

Signs of on-the-job discrimination

EEOC sexual harassment claims rise during #MeToo era

Arizona residents are likely aware that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has been accused of rape and sexual assault by dozens of women including A-list movie stars. The allegations leveled against the disgraced producer were the impetus for the #MeToo movement, which has encouraged thousands of women around the world to step forward and share their stories. The movement has also fueled a surge of sexual harassment in the workplace claims according to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.

The EEOC revealed in a press release on Oct. 5, which is exactly one year after the Weinstein allegations were first reported in the media, that sexual harassment claims are up by 12 percent year over year. The federal agency also says that the 66 sexual harassment lawsuits it has filed against employers in 2017 represents a 50 percent increase in this type of litigation.

Looking for a job while pregnant can mean facing discrimination

Bringing a new life into this world often means assuming a lot more responsibility. After all, newborns require expensive equipment and clothing, along with a lot of time for care. Discovering that you will soon have a baby can inspire many women to make drastic changes in their lifestyles and future plans.

Women who were not working prior to becoming pregnant may find themselves in need of a job when they realize they are expecting. Earning extra money before the baby comes can offset of the expenses related with a newborn. Unfortunately, pregnancy can be a very difficult time in which to find a job.

Age discrmination in the workplace and the EEOC

In a survey of older adults conducted by the AARP, almost two-thirds said they had experienced or seen age discrimination in the workplace, and 92 percent of respondents said age discrimination was somewhat or very common. For workers in Arizona who have experienced age discrimination it can sometimes be unclear what steps can be taken. A person who believes he or she has been discriminated against based on age should address the issue, follow the company reporting process and consider filing a charge.

By addressing the issue head on with colleagues or superiors, the situation can be fully understood and the employee empowered. At most large companies there are protocols for reporting discrimination. Unless the situation calls for more immediate action, it's generally a good idea to follow the company's reporting procedures before involving government agencies.

Adoption qualifies the new parent to FMLA leave like a birth does

People's families can grow in a variety of ways. Sometimes, two people fall in love after the end of a previous relationship. One of them may already have children, so when they get married, their new spouse suddenly has stepchildren. Other times, couples expand their family the most common way, by getting pregnant and then later having a child. In some cases, adoption is the reason that a family grows to include a new member.

Adoption is the legal process by which an adult can assume custody and parental responsibilities for a child that is not biologically theirs. People adopt for a wide range of reasons, from an inability to conceive to concerns about passing on genetic conditions.

Arizona workplace harassment often goes unreported

A study published by international specialist insurer Hiscox indicates that 35 percent of employees across the U.S. feel they've been subject to harassment in the workplace. Half of that group said the harassment they experienced was due to their sex or gender. Researchers putting together the 2018 Workplace Harassment Study surveyed 500 full-time employee adults in the U.S.

The study made use of an invitation via email and then an online survey. Among those respondents who said they had experienced harassment at work, 73 percent said the perpetrator of the harassment was in a position senior to theirs, and 78 percent said the harasser was male. Also present in the data were instances of harassment by women against men and same-sex harassment. In some cases, the harasser was not an employee of the company but was a customer or vendor.

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Elizabeth D. Tate, Attorney at Law
382 E. Palm Lane
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Phone: 602-842-6971
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