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Workplace harassment may involve cultural differences, disability

Most Californians want to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Though some days may seem more difficult than others, they can often power through and reach the end goal. However, when parties must contend with workplace harassment, their jobs may become immensely more difficult, and these actions may cause their work and personal lives to suffer.

Harassment can come in a variety of forms. When individuals are treated unfairly due to their race, religion, national origin or ethnicity, co-workers or employers could make comments or take discriminatory actions in regard to a person's clothing, physical appearances or other traits that may represent cultural differences. Harassers in the workplace may mock individuals, verbally abuse them or constantly disrespect their cultures by attempting to make them go against their beliefs.

Failing to comply with ADA may equal workplace discrimination

It is common for people to assume that many individuals with disabilities were born with them. However, a multitude of people, including many in California, develop disabilities later in life due to accidents, injuries or illnesses. As a result, someone could hold a job for a number of years before developing a disability that may need accommodation. If an employer fails to adhere to laws requiring these accommodations, a person could have reason to file a workplace discrimination claim.

It was recently reported that such a claim has been filed in another state against Walmart. Apparently, an employee had developed an undisclosed disability after working as a sales associate with the company. The disability apparently resulted in her losing the ability to carry out the duties associated with her sales position, but she could still work in other positions.

Body evaluations at restaurant lead to sexual harassment claims

It is not unusual for California residents to think an opportunity is going to work out a certain way only for it to be drastically different. Many individuals may feel excited to start a new job, but they may soon find themselves facing sexual harassment at work that quickly drains that excitement. Unfortunately, some people may not even realize the actions that employers take could be considered harassment.

It was recently reported that four former employees of the chain restaurant Twin Peaks have filed complaints in regard to the behavior they were subjected to while they worked at the chain. Apparently, the women had to undergo body evaluations on a weekly basis, during which managers would criticize them on their physical appearances. They would also receive "feedback" with scrutinizing comments.

New California Test For Employee vs. Independent Contractor

The California Supreme Court adopted a new legal standard that will make it more difficult for businesses to misclassify workers as independent contractors. This will directly affect the trucking and transportation industry as well as the gig economy (e.g., Uber, Grubhub, Bellhops, Caviar, Dolly, DoorDash).

Morning sickness in the workplace

For companies that have a minimum of 15 workers, employers must abide by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act. These laws offer many protections to pregnant women, including that bosses cannot fire them for getting pregnant. The laws also state that employers must provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant women while at work. 

Morning sickness is a natural part of being pregnant. A woman who is dealing with this condition may feel the urge to go to the bathroom frequently. Employers must allow women to go to the bathroom to handle any pregnancy-related issues. An employer is unable to fire a woman or reprimand her for taking more bathroom breaks than anyone else. 

Employers may use pregnancy issues to mistreat workers

When many people think of discrimination in the workplace, they may first consider race and gender discrimination. What they may not more fully consider is a form of gender discrimination relating to pregnancy. In fact, some California workers may have faced negative impacts to their jobs due to what employers perceived as pregnancy issues.

Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination is a serious issue, and many women can give accounts of facing unfair treatment at their places of employment due to being pregnant. In fact, some individuals have even lost their jobs because of their pregnancies. One worker cried on shift after being yelled at by a customer and was soon fired for being "too emotional," while another woman faced dismissal after looking to obtain information regarding maternity leave.

Wage theft can affect numerous workers at once

When California workers have monetary goals they want to reach, they may scrape and save every dime that they earn. However, they may notice that it is taking longer to reach their goals than they had hoped. In some cases, they may simply face more expenses than expected, but in other instances, they may not be receiving their full compensation due to wage theft.

It was recently reported that over 1,000 workers in two other states were affected by this type of action. Reports indicated that the owner of a chain restaurant with 15 locations across the states had committed multiple wage and hour violations. Workers indicated that minimum wage was not met due to non-tipped workers receiving a portion of the tip pool, and they also stated that they were not given overtime pay and charged double for meals taken while on shift. 

Remember: Men are victims of sexual harassment too

Unwanted sexual advances, crude remarks and other actions can all fall into the category of harassment. While more light has been shed on sexual harassment in the workplace in recent months, there is still much information regarding this issue that needs discussing. For instance, many men also face this type of harassment while on the job, but most feel hesitant to bring up the topic.

California readers may be interested in new research that indicates that approximately 17 percent of harassment claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are from men. Typically, the harassment begins due to other workers not viewing the men as masculine, and harassers seek to humiliate victims. In many cases, male victims worry that others will not believe them or that the situation is too embarrassing to bring up.

EEOC files suit for sexual harassment at fast food restaurant

Having a job can be an enjoyable experience for California residents of any age. Even young children can earn a sense of purpose and accomplishment by being able to help their parents or other adults with certain tasks. However, when older individuals face sexual harassment on the job, their experience may turn from enjoyable to frightening.

It was recently reported that a franchisee of the fast-food restaurant Arby's is currently facing a lawsuit due to such harassment in another state. Reports stated that multiple female employees were sexually harassed by a male team leader at the location. The female workers' ages were not given, but they were described as young. The team leader's age was also not included in the report.

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