With the recent headlines about sexual harassment and discrimination in Hollywood and other high-profile arenas, you may be becoming more aware of what is and is not acceptable in your own workplace. Since many of the current claims that are making headlines contain relatively straightforward allegations about prohibited behavior that is clearly outlined in employment law, it is easy to identify them as violations. However, this is another kind of discrimination that is harder to identify.
If a California worker becomes pregnant, she may have a variety of employment protections under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This is true if a person works for a company with 15 or more employees. Under the PDA, an employer is not allowed to harass or otherwise treat a woman differently because of her pregnancy. Furthermore, employers are not allowed to take most employment actions such as demoting or terminating someone simply because she is pregnant.
A former employee is suing Tesla over allegations the automaker allows racist behavior at one of its California factories. The class-action complaint was filed in Alameda County Superior Court on Nov. 13.
California residents may be interested to learn that three women filed a lawsuit against Uber in San Francisco Superior Court on Oct. 24. The suit claims that the company engaged in discrimination related to both race and gender. It specifically states that female engineers and those of color are not paid the same or promoted as often as engineers who are male, white or Asian.
In this era of affirmative action programs and similar initiatives, many people in California are satisfied that society is working harder to prevent discrimination in employment. However, people in protected categories continue to face troubling experiences in too many industries. For example, a survey conducted by staffing firm Indeed found that tech workers over 40 perceive themselves as quite vulnerable to age-based discrimination. Forty-three percent of respondents reported that they periodically worried about losing their jobs due to their age.