In 2010, Congress amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to include workplace protections for breastfeeding mothers, and California law extends these protections. However, workers including farmers, registered nurses and kindergarten teachers are not covered by the federal law, and a recent study suggests that even breastfeeding mothers who are covered are routinely treated unfairly by both private and public sector employers. One of the cases reviewed by researchers involved a police officer who was denied a temporary desk assignment when she was unable to wear a protective vest.
For many California workers over 40, age discrimination continues to be a significant concern on the job. Even as medical advances are enabling people to live longer, healthier lives, older workers may face challenges when seeking promotions or looking for new employment. This trend continues to be a problem despite the aging population. While only 12 percent of the population was over 65 in 2000, that number is expected to climb to 22 percent by 2050. The changing demographics are accompanied by an escalating retirement age and growing needs for financial support.
For male and female workers in California, the experience and interpretation of sexual harassment in the workplace can often differ substantially. While this may seem to be true from a common-sense perspective, this belief is backed up by the results of the American Family Survey. The nationwide poll included questions about public policy, marriage and children. It also had a number of questions asking about whether certain types of behaviors on the job should be labeled harassment.
A class-action lawsuit against KPMG has more than 1,100 plaintiffs who allege sexual harassment during their employment at the Big Four accounting firm. The case was originally filed in 2011, but it has grown as more plaintiffs have joined; it was granted class-action status on a conditional basis in 2014 based on claims made under the Equal Pay Act. Employees in California might be interested in the case as it raises workplace harassment issues that resonate with many workers in the U.S.
Almost one in every five adults in the United States experiences a form of mental illness in a given year, according to information from the National Alliance on Mental Health. Unfortunately, some of these individuals face discrimination from California employers.
Workplace age discrimination has been prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, or ADEA, since 1967. Age discrimination is still common in California and in other states, unfortunately.