Articles Posted in Race Discrimination

California is often among the leaders in establishing legal mechanisms to protect workers from various employment harms, including discrimination. The California legislature is once again considering taking an important step that would expand the protections California workers receive.

The bill, already passed by the Senate, would extend the reach of the Fair Employment and Housing Act by banning workplace policies that, on their surface, discriminate against certain hairstyles but that, in actuality, amount to a form of race discrimination. Whether yours is related to your hair or some other issue, if you think you’ve suffered discrimination on the job, be sure that you reach out promptly to an experienced Oakland employment attorney to learn more about the legal options you may have, including filing suit and collecting compensation.

Employer hairstyle policies, on their surface, might seem like simple and necessary things to ensure that all workers maintain certain standards of hygiene, cleanliness and professional appearance. However, just like many things, the reality goes deeper, and is more complicated, than what’s on the surface. An employer’s hair rules, for example, could be used to punish an employee or job candidate for having a hairdo that the employer deems improper for that person’s gender. (In other words, a woman wearing a hairstyle the employer considers too masculine or a man wearing hair the employer thinks is too feminine.)

Many people, when they hear the phrase “employment discrimination,” may associate those words with women, people of color, older workers, LGBTQ+ people or religious minorities. The reality is, however, that anyone can pursue a claim for discrimination in California if they can show that they suffered discrimination on the job on the basis of sex, race, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation or gender identity. If you think you’ve been the target of illegal discrimination, act with all due speed to protect your rights. Contact a knowledgeable Oakland employment attorney right away.

A case recently filed by an employee of a major package shipping company is an illustration in point. According to Patch.com, M.M. had worked for the company for 12 years. In 2017, his job duties included assigning driving duties to the employer’s delivery drivers serving Los Angeles County. Allegedly, a driver shortage led M.M. to assign extra work to the existing drivers, which angered P.F. According to M.M., the driver responded in several ways, including speaking in an insubordinate manner and making false allegation about M.M. to the employer’s human resources department. The alleged falsehoods included M.M. physically assaulting P.F.

According to M.M., the employer knew that the driver’s accusations were false, but the employer feared that P.F., who was Latino, would escalate claims of racism and file additional grievances or sue the employer. The employer also allegedly feared upsetting other Latino drivers, leading it to terminate M.M. in an effort to “appease” P.F. and the company’s other Latino employees, Patch.com reported.