Discrimination can take many forms — and may be the basis of a lawsuit.
Discriminating against employees because of who they are — their race, gender, religion, or other characteristics — is illegal under both federal and state law. Yet all too often, workers face discrimination, such as being fired, not being promoted, or even being forced to work unfavorable shifts.
If you haven’t faced workplace discrimination, you may be wondering how it happens. Below, our team of California employment discrimination attorneys will outline several real world examples that demonstrate just how pervasive workplace discrimination can be.
Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity
In Denver, a trans man named Leonard Pollard faced discrimination and harassment at the coffee shop where he worked. When he returned to work after surgery related to his transition, his co-worker started to ask him inappropriate questions about his genitalia. He later had a panic attack at work because of these questions, and left work. His boss then told him that he was being fired for leaving work in the middle of his shift. This type of treatment may be an example of discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sex.
Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
The federal agency in charge of enforcing laws related to workplace discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in 2018 that it was filing a claim against Hawaii’s largest health insurance provider, Hawaii Medical Service Association. The EEOC alleges that the company denied intermittent leave to employees with disabilities when they needed to seek medical treatment or simply take time off of work due to their disability. This type of leave is protected under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Because they were not allowed to take leave, employees were either forced to live without it — or resign,
Discrimination on the Basis of Pregnancy
Erin Murphy worked as a commodities broker for Glencore in New York City. In her predominantly male workplace, she and other female employees often faced sexual harassment at work, yet she received high marks on performance reviews and was praised for her work. However, when Ms. Murphy informed her boss that she was pregnant, everything changed. Her boss told her that her career would plateau, and he later read announced to the office that the most-read article on a popular news site was about how pregnancy affected a woman’s brain (she was the only pregnant employee at the time). He also told her that she is old and having babies, so her career cannot advance any further. After coming back from maternity leave, her co-workers were promoted while she remained in the same position. She later filed a lawsuit against the company for pregnancy and sex discrimination.
These are just a few examples of how discrimination may happen in any workplace. If you believe that you have been discriminated against at work, a skilled California employment discrimination attorney can work with you to help you file a claim against your employer.
For more than 40 years, PLBSH has represented individuals who have been discriminated against at work. We aggressively advocate for our clients, working hard to achieve the best possible outcome. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation, contact our office today at (800) 435-7542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.