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Redondo Beach California Employment Law Blog

Bullying doesn't stop after high school

When you think of bullying, the cliche is an older high school student bullying a younger one. And that definitely happens all over the United States, despite the onset of rules and even laws to prevent it.

But do not assume that it ends there. Workplaces have bullies, too. One study claimed that 19% of people in a survey said they had seen others get bullied at work and another 19% said that they had personally been victimized by bullying.

Defining at-will employment

At-will employment means that you can get fired for any non-illegal reason. In short, it means either side -- you or your employer -- can likely end the relationship at any time.

This is different than having a contract that you work under. The contract may state the length of your employment and the reasons you could get fired. Most workers do not have contracts, though. They just accept the at-will position and know that they could theoretically lose their job at any time.

Gender equality still has a ways to go

When it comes to gender equality in the workplace, America has come a long way over the decades. Women work far more often now than they did before, with many households having two employed parents. They have opportunities that they never had in the past and discrimination has declined.

That said, we still do have a ways to go. It's clear that discrimination still happens and that it's often harder for women than for men.

Religious discrimination takes many forms

In the United States, all workers deserve equal, fair treatment. This is true no matter how old they are, what religion they follow, what ethnicity they are or what gender they are -- just to name a few examples.

To dig a bit deeper into how this works, let's look at religious discrimination. In some cases, it's as simple as making comments about someone's religion that are insulting or belittling. In other cases, it has a direct impact on their station with the company. It could include things like:

  • Refusing to hire them based on their religion
  • Firing them after learning of their religion
  • Refusing to pay them the same amount as other workers with a different religion
  • Passing over them for promotions
  • Giving them the job assignments that no one wants
  • Refusing to give them proper training
  • Denying them time off
  • Choosing to lay them off instead of other workers
  • Not giving them the same benefits as other workers

5 sexual harassment facts from the EEOC

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the EEOC, strives to make sure that all workers have the same fair treatment in the workplace. One thing that they monitor is the presence of sexual harassment. Though illegal in the workplace, it does still happen.

To put an end to it, one must understand how and why it takes place. To that end, here are 5 facts from the EEOC about sexual harassment:

  • The conduct has to be unwelcome and unwanted by the victim.
  • Gender makes no difference. Men and women can be both victims and harassers, and it does not always happen between opposite-sex workers.
  • Even if the victim does not get fired or suffer a clear economic injury, the conduct may still be illegal.
  • Someone who is not directly getting harassed could still be a victim. For instance, they may just witness offensive conduct from afar and feel they have a hostile workplace.
  • Harassers are often supervisors, but not always. They can also be co-workers, nonemployees, agents of the company, supervisors in another department or co-workers from another department.

Document everything with sexual harassment

You're facing sexual harassment in the workplace. It happens on a regular basis. Maybe you have a boss who tries to use their position within the company to force you into a relationship. Maybe you have a coworker who constantly pesters you; you don't think they even want a relationship, but they want the power that comes with using someone else's gender against them.

You know it's wrong. You can feel it. When you tell your friends, they act astounded and appalled. You know you want to take action.

Gender discrimination common in the medical profession

For doctors, nurses and others working in the medical field, the reality is that gender discrimination still exists. It does not matter that outright discrimination is illegal and that gender is a protected class. It appears that it still happens, and it can hold women back.

A recent study investigated two different ways that this impacts female medical workers. First, they were simply asked if they had experienced this type of discrimination. The majority responded that they had.

How much more often does sexual harassment target women?

If you look at the news, it becomes clear fairly quickly that women most often face sexual harassment in the workplace and elsewhere. It can and does happen to men -- and this is not to detract from that fact in any way -- but it's not as common.

What does the divide look like? In one study, just 16.1% of men reported sexual harassment. The rest were women. Another data set put it at 17.6%. Another report put it at about 17%, or almost one out of every five complaints -- technically, a true one-in-five ratio would be 20%.

What does the term quid pro quo mean?

When you hear about sexual harassment in the workplace, you often hear the term "quid pro quo." It's very important, but what exactly is meant by this phrase?

Essentially, it just means "something given or received for something else." It is a Latin phrase, and it does not by any means have to relate only to sexual harassment. It just refers to the act of bartering one thing for another.

A diary of events may help with discrimination cases

If you experience gender discrimination -- or discrimination of any other kind -- in the workplace, you need to know that this practice is illegal. It does violate your rights. Do not assume that you must put up with it and accept it as part of the workplace environment.

But how do you take steps to end it? If you're considering a legal case against your employer, what do you need to do to show that the discrimination really happened?

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It can be hard to take the first steps in these cases when your livelihood is at stake, but know that you have rights available to you. Let us help you determine what you can do to bring an end to your employer's unlawful behavior.