Facebook Lawsuit Paves Way For Victims of Discrimination

March 30, 2015

Ellen Pao, a former employee at a venture capital firm aligned with Facebook, brought a gender discrimination lawsuit against the firm and the social media company. She alleged that claimed she was punished and eventually fired in 2012 from her job as junior partner at her former firm, one of Silicon Valley’s most famous venture capital firms, for questioning the firm’s treatment of women.

And although the court did not find sufficient evidence of discrimination or retaliation, her courageous steps in coming forward will likely encourage other women facing gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace to be heard. A representative noted:

"Despite the jury’s decision today, Ellen Pao’s case is a win for any woman facing gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace, in Silicon Valley and beyond. The curtain has been pulled back, providing a rare glimpse into the lack of equal employment opportunities for women in Silicon Valley.

Very few gender discrimination cases actually make it to trial, and other women who have experienced discrimination will hopefully be influenced to come forward, thanks to Ms. Pao’s courageous step."

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Facebook Faces Employment Discrimination Lawsuit

March 28, 2015

Earlier this week, a former Facebook employee filed a gender and race discrimination lawsuit against the social networking site. The lawsuit alleges that the woman was hired to work as a program manager, and then promoted to be a technology partner. However, although she received raises throughout her employment, when she began complaining about harassment, she was fired.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin and religion. This means that your company cannot take any form of adverse of negative action against you because you are a member of one of these protected categories. Further, if you complain about discrimination and suffer negative consequences – such as being fired, transferred to a worse location, given worse hours, or not being promoted – it may be possible to file a lawsuit for retaliation.

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Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Novartis

March 21, 2015

Legal news reports that a group of women have filed a $110 million class action discrimination lawsuit against Swiss drug maker Novartis. The gender discrimination lawsuit is based on claims the company has routinely denied women equal and promotion opportunities. Five years ago, the pharmaceutical company was ordered to pay more than $250 million in a similar gender discrimination action. At the time, this amount represented the largest employment discrimination award ever in the United States.

As a result of this lawsuit, the company vowed to adopt policies and reforms that would both prevent employment discrimination and retaliation against those who complained.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of a person’s sex. This means that an employer may not take adverse action against someone because of their gender, whether male, female or even transgender. Your sex cannot play a role in any of your employer’s work related decisions including - whether to hire, fire, or promote an individual worker.

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Have You Suffered Pregnancy Discrimination?

March 8, 2015

As the Supreme Court considers whether employers must accommodate pregnant women in certain situations, many women across the country still face discriminatory actions on account of their pregnancy.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions. Although this doesn't mean that pregnant women are entitled to special treatment, it does mean that pregnant women must be treated equally to non-pregnant individuals. For example, if your company gives extra leaves of absence to employees with medical conditions, they must extend this practice to pregnant women.

Federal and states still receive numerous complaints each year about pregnancy discrimination. In fact, The EEOC more than 3000 pregnancy discrimination complaints in 2014. A representative of the EEOC noted, “People do assume that times have changed and that people behave well …That's simply not the experience of a lot of people in the workplace."

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National Origin Discrimination On the Rise

February 25, 2015

The recent shooting of three Muslim students at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has brought national attention to the issues of racial and religious discrimination.

According to reports, the man accused of killing the students had a history of using “hateful” terms toward the students and exhibiting significant intolerance. It has not been determined yet whether these murders will be charged as hate crimes, but it has underscored the need for anti-discrimination policies to be in place.

Additionally, with the increased news coverage of Muslim radicals engaging in horrific acts of terror, campuses and places of employment have seen an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment, and an increase in potentially illegal national origin discrimination.

National origin discrimination means treating someone less favorably because he or she is from a particular place, because of his or her ethnicity or accent, or because it is believed that he or she has a particular ethnic background. National origin discrimination also means treating someone less favorably at work because of marriage or other association with someone of a particular nationality.

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Age Discrimination Continues To Plague Many Work Places

February 20, 2015

For years, age discrimination claims have been one of the fastest growing types of employment discrimination lawsuits. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination against individuals over the age of 40.

Older workers – with higher paychecks – may be the first to be eliminated when companies are trying to tighten their belts, a practice that may violate the ADEA. Like the other anti-discrimination laws, the ADEA prohibits any type of adverse action against you because of your age, including the failure to hire you or a discharge because of your age. This also includes age harassment, which typically involves hostility or abuse directed at you by other employees because of your age. The ADEA also prohibits retaliation against you for complaining about age discrimination or for participating in someone else's age discrimination case.

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Retaliation Leads Employment Discrimination Claims

February 13, 2015

Employment discrimination can take many different forms. Often, sex discrimination or race discrimination comes to mind when people think about what actions are considered discrimination. However, several different types of actions may be considered discriminatory. Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its numbers concerning the top complaints of workplace discrimination.

According to the data, surprisingly claims of retaliation top the list, followed by race, sex, disability and age discrimination.

Retaliation claims can exist where almost any type of discrimination is alleged and includes those situations where an employer takes a negative action against a worker for making a complaint. Title VII has specifically made it illegal to retaliate against individuals who complain about discrimination – even if the underlying discrimination isn’t proven. The policy behind this law is to encourage workers to report unlawful conduct and deter abuse. If you experience retaliation in the workplace, you are entitled to the same remedies an s you would have in other discrimination cases – including back pay and damages.

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Reverse Sex Discrimination Case Filed Against Restaurant Chain

January 31, 2015

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sex discrimination in the workplace. This means that employers may not take gender into consideration when it makes employment decisions, including whether to hire, fire, or promote a particular worker. The Act was originally designed to help protect women from discriminatory actions, but it also applies to men – and more recently courts have been called on to consider the inclusion of transgender workers in its protections.

If you have questions about sex discrimination, or believe that you have suffered any form of employment discrimination, consulting with an experienced Atlanta sex discrimination attorney is important to determine your next steps.

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Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Filed

January 26, 2015

Georgia news reports that Atlanta’s fire chief has filed a complaint for discrimination after he was terminated following a controversy over a religious book he wrote. In the book, he denigrated homosexuality. He claimed his views were based on religious beliefs. He further asserts that he was terminated in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition against religious discrimination.

Pursuant to Title VII, you employer may not discriminate against you “because of” your religious beliefs, harass you because of your religious beliefs, or retaliate against you for complaining about religious discrimination or for participating in someone else's religious discrimination case.

In this instance, the police chief self-published a book containing controversial passages condemning homosexuality. He was suspended following the book’s publishing, and subsequently was terminated. According to the former mayor, “The book expresses my deeply held religious convictions on many subjects” and that “I believe that I have been discriminated against because of my religion — Christian.”

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Should Employers Provide Pregnant Workers Reasonable Accommodations?

January 18, 2015

A North Carolina has filed a pregnancy discrimination case after her boss failed to give her shifts following a request for lighter duties. According to the complaint, the 27-year-old certified nursing assistant was instructed by her doctor to stop lifting patients at the nursing home where she worked.

However, instead of getting the lights duties she requested, she was no longer given any work. The woman claims that as a result, she had difficulty paying her bills, including her mortgage and car payment.

This case is similar to Young v. United Parcel Service, which is currently pending before the Supreme Court and could potentially affect millions of working women across the United States. At issue – whether federal anti-discrimination laws provide enough protection during pregnancy, and whether employers must provide work place accommodations for pregnant workers.

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What Is A Protected Class Under Title VII?

January 10, 2015

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Justice Department, and many courts across the country have stated that it’s illegal to discriminate against employees for being transgender. In fact, just recently Attorney General Eric Holder announced that its DOJ policy that transgender people are protected under Title VII.

Many times, gender discrimination lawsuits are filed pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII bans employment discrimination based on race, religion or sex. Your race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, or disability are considered “protected categories,” which means that your company cannot take any form of adverse or negative action against you because you are a member of one of these protected categories.

An adverse action is a very broad term, encompassing just about anything your employer may do that affects your employment in a negative way. If you have questions about employment discrimination or believe that you may have suffered any form of discrimination, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced Georgia employment attorney to determine your next steps.

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Employee Fired for Caring for Disabled Parent Successfully Brings ADA claim

December 31, 2014

A recent disability discrimination case evaluated whether an employer can lawfully fire an employee for being too distracted from his job duties while caring for his father. The court determined that it could not, and that the employee could successfully bring a case for “associational” disability discrimination.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from taking adverse actions “because of the known disability of an individual with whom the qualified individual is known to have a relationship or association.” In order to bring a claim for “associational discrimination” the employee must show that he or she is qualified for the job at the time, was subjected to an adverse employment action, that the employer was aware that the employee had a relative or associate with a disability, and that an inference exists that the relative/associate’s disability was a determining factor in the employer’s decision. Further, an employer may not make decisions based on the ‘belie[f] that the [employee] would have to miss work’ in order to take care of a disabled person.

If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered any type of disability discrimination, consulting with an experienced Atlanta employment discrimination lawyer is important to determine your next steps.

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