Although one must applaud those areas in which progress has been made, it seems that the entire country, including California, has room to improve when it comes to women's rights. This is particularly true with regards to women's right to be treated fairly and equally in the workplace.
Taking legal action against a big national or international corporation can be a very daunting task. Large companies usually have access to a lot of resources, including a well-financed legal team that will do what it can to defeat or minimize even a legitimate claim filed by an employee.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA for short, is a federal law that affords certain protections to people who have documented physical or mental disabilities. The ADA actually covers a variety of topics; among these, it protects employees in California and nationwide who may have to work with a disability.
Walmart has agreed to pay $65 million to settle a class action suit that has been pending for almost a decade. If approved, around 100,000 Walmart cashiers, some of whom have since left the company, may be eligible for a payout. The payout could be up to around $1,000 for cashiers who remained at Walmart for a number of years.
People in Fresno practice a variety of religions, and some may hold strong moral beliefs but practice no religion in particular. Both federal laws and California laws prohibit employers in this state from discriminating against people, including current employees and job applicants, because of their religious beliefs and practices. This means that an employer cannot fire, discipline, or otherwise take an adverse action against an employee because of their religion.
Employees in Fresno enjoy protection from discrimination under both federal law and California law. As this blog has discussed previously, these laws protect employees with certain characteristics from employment discrimination in hiring, firing and just about every personnel matter in between.
Unfortunately, many residents of Fresno, California, know all too well that layoffs are a part of the economic cycle. From time to time, even the healthiest companies must adjust to market conditions by letting workers go.
Another lawsuit, this one involving a group of employees, has been filed against International Business Machines, a technology company at one time known as "Big Blue" on the stock market. There have been allegations swirling around the Company since some internet news outlets determined that, at least since 2010, IBM had let about 20,000 employees over the age of 40 go. These cuts represented about half of the company's workforce reduction. The plan, say the accusers, was to open some empty desks at the company for younger workers.
In light of recent news reports, a lot of people in the Fresno area probably recognize that their employers cannot discriminate against them based on race, gender, and membership in other protected classes. Employers must also take reasonable steps to keep their workplaces free of sexual harassment, and they must give appropriate protections to pregnant employees.
California and federal laws protect workers from certain kinds of workplace discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. For example, an employer is probably breaking the law when it hires women only for low-level positions and reserves all management positions for male job applicants. However, there are many cases where it's difficult to determine whether the discrimination occurred, or if it rose to the level of unlawful discrimination.