On April 1, a 22-year-old transgender woman from Brooklyn filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against clothing store Forever 21 claiming that the management at one of their New York locations harassed her. The federal lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Employers in New York and nationwide are watching the workplace discrimination lawsuits emerging against giant technology companies. Following on the heels of the high-profile gender discrimination case against the venture capital company Kleiner Perkins, Facebook has now been named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a former female employee of Chinese descent.
A former steel worker from ArcelorMittal Steel was awarded approximately $4 million by an appeals court after he filed a lawsuit against the company for the harassment and racial insults he endured while working there. The lawsuit was filed in 2012, and he was initially awarded $25 million. It was later lowered to the current amount when the company appealed the initial ruling.
Pregnant workers in New York have substantial protections when defending their right to work and hold on to their job. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has outlined the different types of protections that pregnant individuals have from harassment or discrimination.
New York employers are forbidden from discriminating against an otherwise-qualified worker due to current, former or perceived disability status. Even if an employee does not have a disability but the employer believes that he or she does, discriminatory actions against the employee are against the law.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo seeks to put an end to discrimination against transgender people in the workplace, housing and others areas. In a letter dated Aug. 19, Cuomo stated that he believes gender identity should be protected from discriminatory practices just as civil rights protect people from discrimination based on disabilities, race and religion. The governor vowed to seek legal rights for gender expression if elected this fall. It would be the governor's second term in office.
Workers in New York may be interested in the case of a Target employee who filed suit against the company on July 23 in a Texas federal court. The man claims that he was exposed to discrimination due to his race and his disabilities. According to the lawsuit, the man suffers from autism and dyslexia, and he has two rods in his back, which makes it difficult for him to get around.
A lawyer who works for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that racial harassment and other forms of racial discrimination are rampant within the federal agency. She made her statements while testifying before the House Financial Services Subcommittee. The hearing was scheduled in response to an agency survey that showed that workers at the agency know that white employees are rated higher than minorities in the agency in the system the agency uses to determine employee benefits, including rate of pay and opportunity for bonuses.
Workers’ rights laws aimed at eliminating discrimination from the workplace apply to every stage of the employment process. Oftentimes, it seems from media reports that a wrongful termination is needed to cement an employment law claim. However, many disputes arise at other stages; a worker may have a claim if discriminatory practices have been involved in a demotion or a failure to promote an employee.
The New York Police Department has 29 divers who are dispatched to search for submerged victims of accident, search for evidence in criminal investigations that may have been discarded underwater and similar duties. A man who joined the police force after working as a life guard in his younger years sought to join the scuba unit in 2003. The man’s penchant for physical fitness, his swimming abilities and work with the police force seemed to dovetail nicely for his desire to join the scuba team.