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November 2010 Archives

Muslim Workers Experience Rising Discrimination

Over the last half decade, Muslims in America have been experiencing increased harassment and discrimination at work. Reports of name-calling such as "terrorist" and "Osama" are on the rise as well as reports of religious exclusion like barring prayer breaks and restraining head scarves. As a result, workplace discrimination complaints submitted by Muslim Americans to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have been on the rise.Muslim workers filed a record amount of complaints with the EEOC in 2009 at 803. That amount was up almost 60 percent from 2005 and up 20 percent from 2008. The amount of complaints filed so far in 2010 suggests that this year will set the record again. Though the amount of complaints has been rising, the recent tensions over a planned Islamic center in Manhattan has brought the issue out of the corner.

The Fight for Equal Pay Continues

Lilly Ledbetter, the woman who fought to change federal law regarding pay discrimination based on gender continues to expand her cause. Ms. Ledbetter believes the persistent wage difference between men and women is a human rights issue.Ledbetter worked at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company plant as a supervisor in Alabama. After discovering that she earned between $1,500 and $500 less per month than her male counterparts, she sued the company for discrimination in 1998. The jury from the trial court level ruled in her favor; however, the United States Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision ruled against her. The issue decided by the Supreme Court was whether Ledbetter was within the 180 day statute of limitations to bring an equal-pay lawsuit. The trial court ruled the time period to bring the suit within starts at the date of the most recent paycheck. The Supreme Court disagreed and ruled the date begins when the pay was agreed upon.

Supreme Court Says Players Can Challenge NFL's Suspension

The U.S. Supreme Court refused, without comment, this month to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two NFL players against the National Football League, which means the dispute will continue in state courts.

Employees May Have Rights to Rant Against Boss on Facebook

The National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint against a Connecticut ambulance service, American Medical Response, that may have wrongfully terminated an employee after she posted a rant about her supervisor on Facebook.

Anti-Discrimination Provision Likely to be Dropped From Next Pot Initiative

Proposition 19, the ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults was rejected by Californians 54 percent to 46 percent last week. Proponents for legalized marijuana are already working on a new version of the initiative for the 2012 ballot in the state.

Employees Should Take Care With Personal Use of Employer Equipment

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year against a California policeman who sued his employer after he was disciplined for using an employer-issued pager to send personal messages. The employee had sent sexually explicit messages to a mistress that were intercepted by the employer. The Supreme Court ruled that employees should have no expectation of privacy while using employer-issued equipment while on the clock.

Did Prop. 19 Venture Too Far Into Employment Law?

Californians voted against Proposition 19 on Election Day, but proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana use and cultivation for adults have not given up their cause. They are, in fact, already working on a revised ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in other states and probably California again in the 2012 elections.

CA Court of Appeal: Co-Worker Evidence Can Be Used to Support Age Discrimination Claim

A recent ruling by the California Court of Appeal said that plaintiffs alleging age discrimination on the part of an employer can use evidence from co-workers to back up their claim, known as "me too" evidence.