June 2018 Archives

Will national origin discrimination ever go away?

Gone are the days of signs in front of businesses that say things like "Irish need not apply," but national origin discrimination continues to be a problem in Arizona and other areas of the United States. In Arizona, for example, Mexican nationals commonly face discrimination that translates into the loss of their jobs, loss of job opportunities and poor treatment at work.

Transgender workers face discrimination on the job

While there has been an increasing amount of media attention and broader social acceptance for transgender people in Arizona and across the country, workplace discrimination continues to be a significant concern. A number of companies have announced initiatives that seek to improve trans inclusivity on the job, but only 9 percent of people over age 45 say that they know or have worked with a transgender person. The unemployment rate of transgender people is three times the overall unemployment rate across the country.

Wal-Mart settles retaliation lawsuit by transgender worker

It is illegal for Arizona employers to retaliate against employees who report discrimination. However, many companies continue to be accused of engaging in such behavior. For example, on June 6, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced that it had settled a lawsuit filed by a former transgender employee who worked at one of the company's Sam's Club stores. The employee claimed that she was wrongfully terminated after reporting incidents of harassment to her supervisors.

Do you know how to address discrimination in the workplace?

With the strong focus on discrimination that has dominated the news cycle for more than a year, one might think that workplace discrimination is rare at this point, if for no other reason than because both employees and employers are concerned about protecting themselves from the legal and social consequences of discrimination accusations. Unfortunately, workers throughout the country still face discrimination in the workplace every day. While discrimination may someday be a thing of the past, that day has not yet arrived.

Employers must tread carefully in FMLA cases

Employers in Arizona and throughout the country have the responsibility to properly communicate with employees who are on FMLA leave. If eligible, an employee can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every 12 months. Employers must generally let workers who are on leave know if they are close to using their allotted leave time for the year. Failing to do so could be interpreted as interfering with that worker's right to take leave.

Were you wrongfully terminated because of harassment?

Imagine your boss is sexually harassing you, so you go to your boss's superior to complain. A week later, you get a termination notice. Apparently, your boss's superior would rather get rid of you than address the problem of your sexual harassment and discipline your boss.

Worker fired after asthma attack makes FMLA retaliation claim

The Family and Medical Leave Act protects the jobs of some workers in Arizona when they need time off because of medical problems. A recent case against a wholesale food distribution company illustrates the importance of timing when an employee makes a claim of interference with rights to family leave and retaliation for taking time off.

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Elizabeth D. Tate, Attorney at Law
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