In California, workers who are subjected to illegal behavior in the workplace are often reluctant to speak up about it for fear of how it might impact their future. In recent years, people have been encouraged to speak up if they have been subjected to any form of mistreatment whether it is discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation or wrongful termination. The reality of taking that step is one of greater complexity. Even though the #MeToo movement and other campaigns to emphasize worker rights have been prominent, there may still be negative consequences for complaining. It is important to be protected from the start.
Woman says California GOP discriminated and retaliated against her
A woman who worked for the California Republican Party is pursuing a legal case for discrimination and retaliation. She says that she heard a supervisor making negative remarks about Black people. The plaintiff is Black herself. Her duties included dealing with mail, processing checks and credit card payments, among other roles. In the case, she names the party and two employees. After the woman complained, the former executive director of the state Republican Party – who is coincidentally the aunt of the supervisor named in the case – assigned more intense work that did not fit into the woman’s duties.
The employee says she was asked inappropriate questions about her hair, endured racially-motivated statements about her first name, and heard age and race-related stereotypes when it became known that she was over 40. She was the only African-American employee. The party itself did nothing to intervene. Neither the supervisor nor the executive director are currently employed by the party. The complainant is still employed. The state GOP addressed the allegations, saying it investigated after the complaint was initially lodged toward the end of 2019 and dealt with it appropriately. The former supervisor left the job in January 2020, but it was not disclosed as to whether she was dismissed.
When facing discrimination, having professional guidance is key
It is unfortunate that discriminatory behaviors still happen in many workplaces and those who speak up are retaliated against. For people who have been mistreated in this way, it is imperative to understand their rights. A fundamental part of that is having help from those who understand and empathize with their position. For assistance, it is wise to seek guidance in workplace discrimination, harassment and other employment law violations.