Phoenix Arizona Discrimination Law Blog

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.

What are the federal fair housing laws?

Some people who are looking to rent a new home or apartment may find that they're denied the ability to live in the place. There are many lawful reasons why a landlord may deny a particular tenant the right to live on his or her property. Nevertheless, if the landlord denies someone a lease on the basis of the person's race or another protected status, it's likely a violation of federal law.

Fair housing laws protect many segments of the population from this kind of housing discrimination. Here are the federal fair housing laws that may protect you if you become a victim of discrimination:

Uber will pay workers in harassment and discrimination cases

Some people in Arizona may have heard that Uber has faced claims of gender discrimination and harassment. Three Latina engineers filed a lawsuit against the company in October 2017. They said their pay was lower than that of male colleagues who were Asian or white and that even when women and people of color performed well, they received lower rankings. These rankings along with prior compensation, a measure that generally leaves women at a disadvantage, were used to determine pay.

Uber will pay more than 50 employees who said they experienced harassment and discrimination on the job a total of $1.9 million. They are among 480 workers who will receive an additional $5.1 million. A hearing will be held on November 6 for the settlement's final approval.

Men are also the victims of gender discrimination

When we hear about gender discrimination, we often think about women and how they have suffered from thousands of years of discrimination at work, at home and in society in general. However, in the modern era, men can suffer from gender-based discrimination too.

Here are four real-world examples of gender discrimination against men that led to lawsuits:

Age discrimination still a thorny problem, according to AARP

Age-based discrimination in the workplace remains disturbingly common in Arizona and around the country, according to a recently released study by the AARP. The nonprofit advocacy group asked 3,900 Americans 45 years of age or older about their work experiences, and 90 percent of them said that discrimination against older workers was commonplace. Almost two-thirds of the respondents said that they had been victims of such discrimination at least once during their careers.

Nine out of 10 of the respondents also said that they supported calls to modify and strengthen the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The landmark bill was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967, but workers' rights groups say that the law has been weakened in the decades since by a number of controversial court decisions. According to the AARP study, the most common forms of age-based workplace discrimination are insensitive or derogatory comments, denying promotions or other opportunities and terminating or laying off older workers.

Pregnant mothers and new adoptive parents have a right to leave

One of the most exciting and magical moments of your life is when a child joins your family. Whether you are pregnant and expecting the birth of a child or in the final stages of adoption, you are probably worrying about work leave. After all, newborns and new additions to your family require a lot of support at first.

The good news is that for those who qualify, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides protection for the right to take leave when a new child arrives in your home. That means you will have time to bond with your new family member and adjust to the new addition to your family.

Former FEMA employee being investigated

FEMA is responsible for helping Arizona residents obtain assistance after a natural disaster or other emergency. The man who ran the organization's personnel department until June 2018 is facing allegations of sexual harassment and that he led a toxic culture. Among the allegations against him is that he hired friends from college and women who he met online for the purposes of having sex with his friends within the organization.

He is also alleged to have had sexual relations with two women who worked under him. These incidents took place in 2015 and then for a period of time from 2017 to 2018, and they both occurred during trips that neither woman had a reason to be on. Both say that they were treated differently after the encounters. The first woman said that she was denied a promotion and only retained her job by suggesting that she may be willing to have a relationship with him in the future.

The reason behind a termination matters

Being let go from your job isn't an easy situation. You have a lot to worry about, such as how you are going to pay your bills and when you will find a new job. There are moments when you know your times at the company is ending, such as if there are rounds of terminations or layoffs. In other cases, you might not have any idea that you are going to lose your job.

While there are many reasons why a company might fire an employee, not all are legal. Arizona is an at-will employment state, which means that an employer, technically, doesn't have to provide a reason for the termination. However, this doesn't provide a loophole for an employer to let an employee go for an illegal reason.

Reports indicate EEOC probe into Uber

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may be investigating ride share company Uber for gender discrimination. A report in the Wall Street Journal indicated that investigators from the EEOC have been conducting interviews with current and former Uber employees as well as requesting company documents. Drivers who work for Uber in Arizona may assume companies in the gig economy are different with regard to discrimination, but it's still a serious problem.

The EEOC has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of an investigation into Uber. It has a policy not to confirm or deny any open investigation. Inquires by the EEOC, generally speaking, do not necessarily lead to a formal charge. Uber said in a statement that it has taken steps to promote gender equality, including overhauling performance reviews, publishing inclusion and diversity reports, developing a market-based salary structure and implementing leadership and diversity training.

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