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September 2012 Archives

EEOC renews focus on pregnancy discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has announced a crackdown on pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. The plan was revealed recently and then followed by the filing of four pregnancy discrimination claims and the settlement of a fifth claim.

Statistics-based hiring models present opportunity, challenges

Most Pennsylvania job-seekers are familiar with the disappointment of applying for a job that seems like a perfect fit, only to be summarily turned down without an interview. It can be hard to predict what makes the perfect applicant for a given job, especially without more insight into the basic duties and work environment.

Can employers discriminate based on language?

The average Pennsylvania resident would probably instinctually answer "no" to the question of whether an employer can discriminate against applicants or employees based on the language that they speak. However, the answer to this question is fairly complex and depends largely on the nature of the discrimination and whether or not it is tied to one of the categories of protection offered by current employment law.

Magazine intern starts class action suit over unpaid work

A former intern for multinational publishing company Hearst Corporation has boldly gone where few interns have gone before. She has filed a lawsuit against the publisher, alleging that the unpaid internship violated federal wage and hour laws. Many have praised her bold choice, noting that most interns are too afraid of being blacklisted in the industry to stand up for their rights as workers.

Transportation worker sues over boss's unwanted sexual advances

We have written many times on this blog about the shocking prevalence of discrimination and harassment for government employees. In Pennsylvania and around the country, we rely on state and federal government entities to act within the bounds of the law and to treat employees and taxpayers fairly and with respect. Unfortunately, in many cases government entities appear to just as susceptible as private employers to illegal discrimination, sexual harassment, and a host of other employment law violations.

Disabled worker's case against United Airlines revived

A former mechanic for United Airlines had a major victory recently, when a court of appeals revived his claim against his former employer for disability discrimination. The original issue arose when a brain tumor left the man unable to continue his work as a mechanic for the airline, a job he had held for over a decade. While the airline's policy states that they will give disabled employees preferential treatment over similarly qualified nondisabled employees, the policy does not provide for automatic placement in a new position.

EEOC complaint leads to retaliation from new, old employers

An executive secretary thought that her new job would put an end to the sex discrimination she was experiencing at her previous job. However, after filing an EEOC complaint to have the prior discrimination investigated, the woman was unexpectedly terminated from her new job.

Employers can't deny health coverage for transgender employees

Recent guidance out from the Department of Health and Human Services clarifies that under the recent healthcare overhaul employers and insurers cannot discriminate against or deny coverage for employees who don't conform to "stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity."