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Los Angeles Employment Law Blog

Disparate-impact discrimination cases

There are two basic types of illegal discrimination: intentional bias and "disparate impact" discrimination. The second type of discrimination can be intentional, but it need not be. It is a type of discrimination where unnecessary employment barriers are put in the way of certain classes of people.

A classic example of disparate impact discrimination is the "unnecessary height requirement." A police department, for example, might wish to require all officers to be at least six feet tall. Even if the intent were neutral, such a requirement could be discriminatory if it unduly burdened one class of worker over another and served no objective, job-based need. Indeed, employee height requirements have often been found to cause a disparate impact against women.

Hospital pays $15,000 to settle disability discrimination lawsuit

In a case in Indiana, a hospital recently paid $15,000 to settle a lawsuit regarding the hospital's failure to provide a disabled employee with a reasonable accommodation. Specifically, the hospital did not permit the employee to transfer to a vacant position for which she was able to work.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a disability discrimination lawsuit on behalf of the employee.

Jury awards more than $18 million for wrongful firing

Michael T. thought his career was in good hands with Allstate. It was not. The 55-year-old Californian had worked for Allstate for 30 years, ever since he graduated from college. He had worked his way up to the position of field sales leader and advised 30 independent agents and staff. Despite this excellent performance, he was abruptly fired in 2016.

The reason he was fired had to do with a 2014 arrest in Arizona after complaints made by his then-girlfriend. She was in psychiatric care, and it turned out to be a wrongful arrest. The charges were dropped.

EEOC settles pregnancy discrimination suit with supplement seller

"There is still a strong bias against mothers in the workplace, and we encourage women who feel discriminated against due to pregnancy to come forward and let the EEOC help defend your rights," says the director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's San Diego office.

Two employees of Tarr, Inc., a now-defunct dietary supplement company, filed complaints of pregnancy discrimination. The EEOC announced a lawsuit in August of last year. Now, the agency has achieved a settlement that will bind the company's owners, officers and directors if they start new enterprises. Tarr, Inc., merged with Zenith, LLC in 2016.

9th Circuit: Basing pay on past salary perpetuates discrimination

Here in California, employers are prohibited from asking job applicants about their salary histories. With women making about 82 cents for every dollar a male peer makes, we need a way to close the pay gap. When wages and salaries are based on past pay rates, any discrimination a woman experiences at any point in her career can be locked in, giving her a lower income permanently.

The impact of discrimination in pay has not only effected women, but members from various racial and ethnic minority groups. Our legislature has made great efforts to narrow the pay gap in having the broadest and most expansive equal-pay laws in the country.

Study: African-Americans still underrepresented in high-wage jobs

Fifty years after the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., how has America changed?

King pressured Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion or gender.

How deeply rooted are workplace harassment issues?

Gender-related harassment issues continue to dominate the headlines and our social-media feeds. But what does it mean? Are the stories of sexual harassment, such as the ongoing situation at Michigan State University, isolated incidents or do they reveal something more profound about the American workplace?

Pew Research has dug into those questions and conducted several inquiries regarding gender issues. Here are key findings from those surveys.

Weinstein Co. releases all NDAs related to Harvey Weinstein

Entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment, misconduct or rape by at least 70 women since the allegations began coming out in October. He was pushed out of the Weinstein Co., which he had founded with his brother. Harvey Weinstein's lead role in the #MeToo movement has apparently now forced the Weinstein Co. into bankruptcy.

The company filed bankruptcy this week after months of fruitless attempts to find an investor or buyer. As part of the filing, it announced, it is also releasing anyone who signed a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) with the Weinstein Co. Any NDAs the company holds are no longer in force.

'Me too' evidence and its connection to #MeToo cases

In previous blog posts, we have examined the employment ramifications of the #MeToo movement, both in California and nationwide.

What we have not discussed is a legal concept that shares the same name as the #MeToo movement. In the legal realm, it's known as "me too" evidence, or other victims of discrimination evidence.

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