Ask anybody what the worst part of their average workday is and there is a very good chance they will name their drive to and from the office. Interestingly enough, the rush hour commute is taking center stage in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed in the state of New Jersey.
Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating against people age 40 and older. This means that federal law expressly prohibits discriminatory practices relating to everything from job assignments, promotions and trainings to pay, employment conditions and, of course, hiring.
Both advocacy groups and legal circles around the nation were abuzz this week over the Obama Administration's announcement that the president would soon be signing an executive order designed to significantly expand employment protections and end anti-gay discrimination in at least one work setting.
At this time of the year, many Minnesota college graduates are busy making plans for their future. Specifically, some are contemplating whether to pursue a graduate degree, while many others are looking for employment to help launch their career and, of course, pay their bills.
The unfortunate reality is that we are more than likely going to see more instances of older Americans losing their jobs due to what employers classify as downsizing, but what really appears to be a textbook case of age discrimination. That's because the nation's sizeable baby boomer population is continuing to get older while still choosing to play an active role in the workforce.
The internet is abuzz with accusations of discrimination by General Motors after Securities and Exchange Commission public filings revealed the salary of their new CEO. The CEO of the company, Mary Barra, is the first woman to head up the American auto giant. First praised as a long-overdue progression, the appointment is now garnering criticism since the base pay of Ms. Barra ($4.4 million per year) is about half of what her predecessor, Dan Akerson, earned ($9 million per year).
When social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter first exploded onto the scene, a lot of people didn't think about them in terms of how they might affect a job search. Some employers, however, seemed avid to find out what embarrassing photos and late-night rants prospective employees might have posted online.
In 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against an Illinois-based mining company that, despite numerous highly-qualified applicants, hadn’t hired a single female miner since it opened operations. The company offered an unusual defense. The lawsuit should be thrown out, it said, because the EEOC’s efforts to settle the complaint through its pre-trial conciliation process had been inadequate.
Being fired because of discrimination is always appalling, but for those who’ve loyally served an organization for years only to be wrongfully terminated just as they near retirement, it can mean a major financial setback, as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, when older workers are able to find new work at all, they typically end up earning 20 percent less than before.
Minnesota readers may be interested to learn that workers who pick pineapples for Del Monte Fresh Produce were awarded a $1.2 million settlement on claims of abuse on farms in Hawaii. Thai immigrants allegedly received employment discrimination from a contractor hired by the Del Monte unit, which is one of the biggest producers in the world of fresh fruit and vegetables. The purported mistreatment occurred from 2003 to 2006, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said that the money would be split between the former employees.