California employers must take steps to ensure that religious discrimination does not occur in their workplaces. It is important to keep in mind that for the purposes of determining religious discrimination, religion is not limited to the major world faiths like Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. It may also include much smaller and lesser-known religions and belief systems as well as people who are atheists.
California offers certain protections to transgender people, but this may not be the case in other states. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is the federal agency that protects workers against discrimination, has said that transgender people are still protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, the Trump administration has indicated it wants to roll back some of these protections, and the EEOC might be under pressure to shift its position as well.
California residents may understand that discrimination should not occur in the workplace. However, according to the EEOC, discrimination claims rose around the country in 2016, and disability discrimination claims are also on the rise. In 2016, claims based on disability discrimination rose 30 percent despite the fact that disabled workers comprise only a small portion of the overall workforce. Roughly 20 percent of the population as a whole is disabled.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission works to advocate for employees who have been victimized by discriminatory action in the workplace. In addition to monitoring and investigating 12 distinct classes of discrimination, the agency has been known to sue companies that failed to protect their workers. It is up to businesses to adhere to civil rights laws by cultivating nondiscriminatory professional environments.
Many older workers in California experience job discrimination when they are looking for work. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown that job seekers over the age of 55 are unemployed for an average of 54.3 weeks. On the other hand, job seekers younger than 55 usually spend about 28.2 weeks looking for work, a full five months less time than it takes older workers to land a new job.
An Enforcement Guidance and a fact sheet regarding national origin discrimination were released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Nov. 18, 2016. While it is not legally binding, the Enforcement Guidance gives employers in California and the rest of the country a better understanding of the investigative and enforcement priorities of the EEOC. It also provides instances of workplace behavior that the EEOC may view as violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
California employees may be interested to learn that an anti-gay workplace discrimination case in Pennsylvania was allowed to proceed on the basis that it violated Title VII's protections. However, the district court judge also noted that the case had an interesting juxtaposition with racial discrimination.
Workplace discrimination is an issue that many minorities may encounter. For those who are interested in working in the tech industry in California or other parts of the country, they should be aware that it can occur even before they are on the job.
Although much attention related to workplace discrimination based on sex or gender is directed towards female employees, California residents may be interested to know that men also face this type of judgment. Challenging social norms and attempting to create more gender equality are steps that can potentially help remedy this problem.
Most Californians likely understand that discriminating against a worker who is disabled is illegal in many cases. They may not realize that discriminating against a worker because of his or her relationship to a family member or loved one who is disabled is also prohibited under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and violating those provisions may result in substantial damages.