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Boca Raton Employment Law Blog

Employees talk about how racism affects them

Florida residents are likely aware of the issues of racism, sexism and ageism in the working world. One Asian woman who worked for Google said that she felt invisible and that there were few people who looked like her at the company. She said that this was especially true among the executive ranks. An African-American woman said that she was regularly asked to show identification whereas white workers were not.

That former employee also said that she tried to speak out about diversity and inclusion at Google. However, she claims that the company pushed back against her efforts saying that it wasn't her role to pursue those priorities. Women within the company also claimed that they didn't see many older women within the managerial ranks of the company. This left them with the impression that there may not be a path forward for them.

3 common types of sexual harassment in the fast food industry

Sexual harassment is common for females in the fast food business. If you are a woman working in a fast food restaurant, this is crucial to understand. According to a survey by Hart Research, 40 percent of women fast food workers experience sexual harassment in the workplace. This harassment can cause stress that leads to health problems, anxiety and depression

No one should have to experience harassment. When you go to work, you simply want to do your job. Here are the most common types of unwanted sexual behaviors in the fast food industry. 

Fox News host accused of texting inappropriate pictures

Florida residents who are Fox News watchers may be interested to learn that another employee, Eric Bolling, has been accused of sexual harassment. Bolling, a prominent host, allegedly sent unsolicited photographs of his genitals to several female co-workers.

Three female co-workers, whose identities remained anonymous, said that they received text messages with the pictures from a recognized number. All three said that they found the photographs unacceptable and offensive. One woman said she replied to the text demanding that no other images be sent, though she said that she never received a reply.

DOJ argues sexual orientation is not protected by federal law

People who have faced discrimination at work due to their sexual orientation in Florida and across the country may be concerned after a filing by the Department of Justice. The filing argues that discrimination based on sexual orientation cannot be characterized as sex discrimination.

It takes a position that is at variance from that taken by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is also a federal agency dealing with workplace discrimination. This leads to an unusual situation in which two federal agencies have weighed in on the same case with differing opinions.

What are your rights as a whistleblower?

The term whistleblower refers to a person who reports illegal or unethical behavior in a public or private organization. Because revealing such malfeasance can trigger a range of repercussions, there are certain rights and protections afforded to whistleblowers by law. If you suspect that there is any wrongdoing taking place within your organization, you should be aware of your rights before you take action.

Statistics reported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicate a rise in the number of claims made by whistleblowers, and OSHA maintains the following as rights for any whistleblower. If you suffer a violation of your rights, or if you fear retaliation, enlisting a legal representative may help.

Appellate ruling helps to clarify harassment claims

Boca Raton workers who have faced discrimination or harassment may want to take heed of a court ruling that clarifies the meaning of the standard used to judge a hostile work environment. The lawsuit was initially dismissed by a lower court. An appeals court reviewed the case and reinstated the plaintiff's original charges. At issue was whether an isolated incident could meet the Supreme Court's "severe and pervasive" standard.

The case involved a supervisor who used a racial epithet in inappropriate comments in a comment about shoddy workmanship. After complaining to another supervisor, two African-American men were fired without cause. They were later hired and fired again before filing a formal complaint that alleged retaliation, discrimination and harassment.

Sexual harassment issues a problem at Tesla

Many Florida residents may have their eyes focused on purchasing a Tesla vehicle. However, they may also be interested to learn that multiple women who have worked at the company allege that Tesla has a past of enabling and engaging in sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.

One woman, who claimed in a lawsuit that the company fired her after she raised concerns in a published interview regarding the company's work culture, said that she was passed over for promotions and was paid less than her male coworkers. Further, she also noted instances of blatant sexual harassment, noting that Tesla failed to do anything about the problem. Tesla responded to the interview by stating that a neutral party determined that her claims were unfounded.

Workplace discrimination and women of color

Women of color in Florida and the rest of the nation who have jobs related to planetary science and astronomy are likely to work in a hostile environment in which they endure negative comments as well as physical and verbal harassment. This is according to a study that surveyed 474 planetary scientists and astronomers from 2011 to 2015. Additional findings also indicate that women of color are victims of workplace discrimination and harassment based on both their race and gender.

The study's results showed that the most frequent occurrences of discrimination were experienced by women of color. For example, 40 percent of women of color who work in the two science fields stated that their workplace is not safe because of their gender. Twenty-eight percent of the women reported that their race was the reason they felt insecure in the workplace.

When you are expected to act sexually at work

Establishments such as Hooters and Twin Peaks market themselves on the attractiveness and sexual allure of staff members. Even in the environments of supposedly family-oriented restaurants, though, you might be expected to flirt in order to make sales or tolerate sexual advances from customers and coworkers. At a certain point, such expectations constitute sexual harassment in the workplace.

According to the Huffington Post, as many as one-third of all women have experienced sexual harassment at work. If you work in a restaurant or any other environment where you are expected to act sexually, you should be aware of the following facts about identifying harassment.

MLB umpire alleges racial discrimination in lawsuit

Florida sports fans may be interested to learn that Major League Baseball umpire Angel Hernandez has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the league and the commissioner of baseball. The lawsuit was filed on July 3.

In court documents, Hernandez, a native of Cuba, claims that MLB officials have denied him work in the World Series in favor of white umpires with less experience and qualifications. The suit also claims that he has never been promoted to permanent umpire crew chief even though he has applied for the position on multiple occasions. It further alleges that only one minority umpire has been named to the World Series umpire crew over the past several seasons.

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