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February 2012 Archives

Tyson Foods settles disability discrimination claim

Food processing giant Tyson Foods settled a disability discrimination lawsuit last week, agreeing to new procedures to protect potential hires from similar discrimination. The man who filed the complaint with the EEOC has epilepsy and alleged that he was unfairly turned down for a maintenance position. He had been employed by Tyson in the past and his condition was not a problem.

Sex discrimination settlement requires new policies and training

A federal law suit against the Department of Corrections in Arizona was settled recently, with promises to develop policies and procedures that will protect female employees. The new requirements are a part of a consent decree that the DOC entered in to with the Department of Justice. The discrimination suit arose when a worker at a state prison filed a complaint alleging that she endured sexual harassment at work for more than three years.

Pregnant woman faces forced resignation instead of maternity leave

The Family Medical Leave Act was originally passed to help protect employees who need time off to care for a sick family member or tend to a new baby. The law requires employers to give employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year. Despite this, several cases have recently emerged that suggest that employers may still be discriminating against employees who request maternity leave under the FMLA.

Evidence of discrimination against the unemployed

A recent 60 Minutes piece aiming to shed light on the situation of the long term unemployed in America revealed a surprising trend in hiring. It appears that there is widespread discrimination against applicants who are not currently employed. Some states have enacted legislation that protects the unemployed from discrimination, and Congress is currently considering a bill that does the same.

Pennsylvania chiropractor suing for pregnancy discrimination

After several visits to the emergency room and doctors appointments to treat a severe type of morning sickness, a Pennsylvania chiropractor was fired from her job before she could return to work. She missed only 11 days for the pregnancy complications and planned to return to work when the owner of her practice told her over the phone not to bother.

Labor Department Proposes More Coverage for Military Families

The Labor Department has submitted a proposal to increase coverage for military families under the Family Medical Leave Act. The Act grants employees up to 12 weeks of leave for personal or family medical leave.

Jury awards African American Corrections Officer large verdict

A jury awarded an African American corrections officer a verdict of $250,000 and set the stage for a total award of more than $400,000 plus attorneys' fees in a race discrimination case in Pittsburgh. According to the complaint, Thomas McClain was fired after 15 years of service for falling asleep on the job, while Roy Wyland, a white man, was not disciplined after being caught on video sleeping on the job.

Models Organize to Stop Harassment

For models working the runways during New York Fashion Week, behavior that would be considered sexual harassment elsewhere is an accepted part of the job. The modeling industry is largely unregulated and generally disregards child labor laws, with many girls starting to work at 14 and 15 years old. Up to this point, little has been done to protect their rights as employees of some of the world's largest and most powerful brands.