The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission has alleged religious discrimination in an employment discrimination case against McDonald's. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff asked his employers at a Fresno, California McDonald's for permission to wear a beard according to his religious practices. Such a request falls under legal guidelines for accommodating religious beliefs of employees, according to the director of the Fresno EEOC. However, the lawsuit alleges that the employer illegally declined to allow him to wear a beard while working and subsequently terminated his employment.
California may soon be joining Oregon as the only states to provide protection against workplace discrimination and harassment for unpaid interns. A Democratic legislator announced that she will introduce a bill in January that grants unpaid employees and interns the same legal protection against harassment and workplace discrimination that is given to paid employees.
Due to mistreatment, Del Monte Fresh Produce has agreed to a $1.2 million settlement in a discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of pineapple farm workers from Thailand. The suit, filed by a California office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), claimed Global Horizons Manpower Inc., a Del Monte contractor, exploited the immigrant workers by making them pay huge fees to obtain employment in the United States and then mistreating them after they become employed. The EEOC further alleged Del Monte should have known that its contractor was engaged in workplace discrimination.
On Sept. 26, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will give household workers more rights as employees, making California the third state in the country to pass a bill of rights for domestic workers. The California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights requires that housekeepers, child care providers and caregivers are paid overtime when they work for more than nine hours in a day or more than forty-five hours in a week.
A bill that would end LGBT worker discrimination throughout the United States was seen as possibly going to a vote in the Senate. Specifically, sexual orientation discrimination, as well as that based on gender identity, would be banned under the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The bill was passed by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, with its support divided along partisan lines.
Two former youth coaches for the Chivas USA soccer team have filed a lawsuit alleging ethnic discrimination. In a twist on the typical workplace discrimination case, the plaintiffs are white males who were fired along with eight other white employees. They claim the employer intentionally discriminated against them because they are not of Latino descent.
Some employers have policies requiring employees to speak English in the workplace. A recent California workplace discrimination case highlights the risks of maintaining such a policy. In that case, an acute care hospital had to pay nearly $1 million to settle a class action brought by the EEOC on behalf of 70 Filipino-American employees who were required to speak English at work. Because the hospital's English-only policy did not apply to Spanish-speaking employees but only to those who spoke Tagalog or other Filipino languages, the EEOC determined the hospital was guilty of national origin discrimination.It may be acceptable for an employer to maintain an English-only policy in certain limited circumstances based on business necessity. An English-only rule may be justified for communications with customers who speak only English, in emergencies in which a common language is needed for safety, for team assignments requiring a common language to promote efficiency and to enable English-only speaking supervisors to effectively monitor employee communications.
A car dealership will pay five American workers of Afghan origin almost half a million dollars to resolve a discrimination lawsuit. The supervisor at the organization labeled the employees as terrorists and intimidated them. He promised retaliation if they reported his actions. The business must now provide training on employment discrimination to supervisors. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will follow up to ensure the company is treating employees properly. The organization must also publicly post information about the case at their business.