When discrimination and harassment occur in the workplace, this behavior can be blatantly obvious, it can exist fairly silently and play out in subtle ways or it can be somewhere in between these two opposites. While pregnancy discrimination often happens in obvious ways, recent research published in the Harvard Business Review indicates that the more silent and subtle forms of pregnancy discrimination also happen quite frequently.
When most Americans think about the concept of segregation, they immediately connect it with the civil rights movement and the ways in which minorities in America have been treated in the past. Though discrimination does exist today, surely it cannot rise to the level of segregation, we assume.
When Mitt Romney uttered the phrase 'binders full of women' during the second presidential debate, he prompted a national discussion about pay inequity and women in the workplace. The problem of gender discrimination in hiring and employment is still real and very present in the American workplace.
In 1970, 46 women rocked the business industry when they sued Newsweek Magazine. In particular, they alleged that they had been harmed by workplace gender discrimination, which was a novel thing to claim at the time. In fact, they were the first female media workers to sue as a result of discrimination based in sex or gender.
Discrimination and harassment in the workplace are not just illegal. They are also degrading, aggressive and demeaning practices which must be addressed as soon as they surface. Unfortunately for many different kinds of employees, the level of these behaviors can contribute to what is legally characterized as a hostile work environment.
South Florida has seen a lot of employment-law-related activity centered in the restaurant industry over the past few months. Our last post focused on a lawsuit against the owner/operator of a South Florida restaurant. Several women who worked for the restaurant alleged that they were victims of sexual harassment by a customer and that management did nothing to keep them safe or rectify the situation.
We have written previously about the long-running gender discrimination suits and scandal facing retail giant Walmart and how the outcome of such legal actions could affect Walmart employees here in South Florida. Though Walmart secured a decisive victory last summer when the Supreme Court ruled that the largest class-action employment lawsuit in history could not move forward as originally filed, the story continues.
Over the summer, several of our posts were focused on the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling in the gender discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart Inc. If the case had been allowed to proceed, it would have been the largest class-action lawsuit in history, affecting over 1.5 million female plaintiffs throughout the country, including Florida.
The US Supreme Court's ruling earlier this summer in the Wal-Mart gender discrimination case was predicted by some to be a death knell for all similar class-action suits in the future. Experts predicted that the ruling would make it much more difficult to pursue class-action status in future employment lawsuits.
Earlier this week, we wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart cannot proceed. The lawsuit alleged systematic gender discrimination and was filed on behalf of over 1.5 million female employees.