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September 2010 Archives

Muslim Employee Accused Disney of Discrimination, Now Allowed to Wear Hijab

A Muslim employee has been allowed by Disney to wear her religious headscarf at work after intervention by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The woman was hired over the phone by Disney as an intern. When she arrived at Disneyland from Chicago and employers saw her hijab, they told her that she would have to work in a backroom until a new customized uniform could be made.

New Bills Aim to Crack Down on Wage Abuses

The California legislature has passed two bills that aim to crack down on wage theft in the state and better protect workers from wage-and-hour violations. Among other things, the new legislation would make wage theft a misdemeanor crime punishable by prison time and fines. The bills would also double the amount of damages that a court could award a worker suing for unpaid minimum wages. The bills are currently sitting on Governor Schwarzenegger's desk and he has until the end of the month to decide whether to sign them.

Soldiers With PTSD Face Discrimination in the Workplace

There have been a few articles in the news lately about the challenges people with mental disabilities or illnesses can face in finding and keeping employment. The Los Angeles Times recently published an article that tells the stories of several veterans who live in San Diego or Southern California who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injuries. Symptoms of PTSD or a brain injury can include memory lapses, severe headaches, poor concentration, slurred speech, a short temper and anxiety in crowds.

Interviewers Cannot Ask You About Immigration Status

In an earlier post, we discussed a few questions that may seem innocent enough if you're asked them in an interview, but that employers are actually prohibited from asking. Questions about pregnancy or marriage may seem okay in a more casual setting, but we told you in an earlier post that you have the right not to answer questions like these because an employer is not allowed to make employment decisions or discriminate against you based on your answer.

Muslim Job Applicant Accuses Clothing Chain of Discrimination

Clothing chain Abercrombie & Fitch again stands accused of discriminatory employment practices. Earlier this month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the clothing chain on behalf of an 18-year-old Muslim woman. Halla Banafa claims that she was not hired for a job at a Bay Area Abercrombie & Fitch store because she did not fit the "Abercrombie look." She says that the manager cited her head scarf on the interview form as the reason she did not fit the "look policy."

Know Your Rights in an Interview

You might already know that employers cannot ask questions regarding your age (besides whether you are at least 18), race, religion or disability in an interview. Other questions you might be asked in an interview may seem like harmless and innocuous questions tossed out by a potential employer. Perhaps the interview is on the casual side and an employer asks you whether you are married or have any children.

Wal-Mart Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Moves On To Supreme Court

In 2001, six women filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. claiming gender discrimination in employment. The lawsuit is seeking class-action status in order to include as plaintiffs more than 1.5 million women employees who have worked at any of Wal-Mart's 3,400 stores in the U.S. since 1998.

Flu Shots: Mandatory or Voluntary for Healthcare Employees?

Since the outbreak of swine flu, a controversy has been brewing in the healthcare field. Some hospitals have changed their policies of voluntary flu vaccination for their employees to making vaccination mandatory. Some healthcare workers believe it a heavy-handed move by employers to require vaccination. Nevertheless, several hospitals have moved in that direction.

Disabled Workers Face Higher Unemployment Rate, Discrimination

The Wall Street Journal recently took an in-depth look at a Labor Department study examining the situation of disabled workers in the U.S. The study was the first of its kind for the government. Overall, it found that people with disabilities were more likely than people without disabilities to be unemployed, older than 65, or working part-time. Disabled workers are more likely to be working for the government or be self-employed.