Workplace Discrimination Archives

Genetic information discrimination is illegal at work

While many workers in Arizona know that racial, gender or age discrimination are prohibited in the workplace, few people may know or understand the prohibition on genetic information discrimination. One of the newest aspects of workplace civil rights law, the prohibition on using genetic information when making employment decisions, became effective in 2009. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigates complaints related to the inappropriate application of genetic information at work alongside more traditional discrimination complaints. However, they make up only a tiny fraction of the overall complaints received by the agency, amounting to only 0.3%, according to 2018 statistics.

Older workers facing discrimination with less protection

The number of older workers is on the rise, but so are claims of age discrimination. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers who are 40 and older from age discrimination, but the fastest-growing group of workers is at least 65 years old. Older people in Arizona may be more likely to keep working past traditional retirement age than previous generations, but they also face hurdles in the workplace.

Study examines workplace harassment, discrimination

Even though three-quarters of employees surveyed by the company Randstad US said they believed it was important for men to speak up about gender equality in the workplace, half of those surveyed also said they did not do so after a colleague said something that was not appropriate about another employee. Some Arizona workers may also be among the almost half who said their workplace did not offer mentoring or leadership programs tailored for women employees.

Google announces mandatory arbitration U-turn

Google employees in Arizona and around the country are no longer required to resolve workplace discrimination and wrongful termination disputes through arbitration. The search engine giant made the announcement in a Feb. 21 press release. Workers will also now be permitted to join together to bring class-action lawsuits against the company. The move comes as Google attempts to repair its relationship with its employees in the wake of scandals that prompted 20,000 workers to protest.

Pattern of Harassment Leads LGBT Officers to Sue their Employers

A series of disturbing incidents of harassment targeting LGBT police officers in Arizona and other states has led to some calls for reform in the law enforcement community. Despite years of internal complaints, these incidents continue to pile up. Now, a series of lawsuits alleging workplace discrimination are flooding law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Court condones age discrimination agaisnt job applicants

Workers in Arizona and around the country over the age of 40 are protected against unfair treatment in the workplace by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, but the landmark 1967 law does not specifically state that these protections extend to those applying for employment. The courts have consistently ruled that job advertising violates federal civil rights laws when it excludes candidates based on their race, gender, religion or national origin, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in April 2017 that employers could exclude older job candidates in certain situations without violating the ADEA.

Google workers take a stand against employment discrimination

Every Arizona employer should have the same interest in maintaining a workplace that's free of bias, prejudice, harassment and any other employment-related improprieties. However, achieving that goal while conducting business has been difficult for some companies. To help mitigate losses from lawsuits, pre-dispute arbitrations have become the norm in the vast majority of employment contracts. These require an aggrieved worker to seek some form of alternative dispute resolution prior to filing a lawsuit against the employer. That, however, may be changing.

Disney Cruise Line accused of age, sex discrimination

Arizona readers may be interested to learn that Disney Cruise Line is being sued by a male former employee over claims of age and sex discrimination. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in November, the middle-aged employee worked as a labor analyst at Disney for 18 years. Over the last few years, he worked under an unidentified female manager who allegedly discriminated against him due to his age.

Reasonableness is at the heart of the ADA

The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 signaled the beginning of a new era where public awareness and respect for people with disabilities was ushered in. Much progress has been made in Arizona workplaces due to the ADA's core requirement that employers must make reasonable accommodations to enable peoples with disabilities to gain and maintain employment. But is as true in much of the law, how the precise wording of the statute is interpreted by the courts defines the bottom line result.

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).

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Elizabeth D. Tate, Attorney at Law
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