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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For two decades, complaints filed by women alleging pregnancy discrimination at work have increased. Complaints have reached their highest level yet, which demonstrates the extent of the problem and growing awareness among women in Arizona about their legal rights. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 applies to employers who have at least 15 employees. The law prohibits discrimination because of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. The hiring process falls under the purview of these protections as well.
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.
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.