Many of us have made the three-hour trek west from Houston to get to Austin, one of the best music cities in America. But a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a former Austin fire cadet might have the capital of Texas singing the blues.
The gender gap in pay between women and men is well documented. Despite continued attention to the problem, the data says there is still a long way to go. In a recent report by the World Economic Forum, it says that it would take one hundred sixty-eight years to even the field at the current rate, as the Boston Globe reports.
Last week, the music streaming service Spotify came under attack, with allegations of systematic gender discrimination within the company’s U.S. sales team. The plaintiff, Hong Perez, was a sales executive at Spotify. She has filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court of New York, alleging gender discriminatory behavior by numerous high-ranking executives within the organization.
Different laws control the relationships between employers and employees. They exist at local, state and federal levels and have built up over many years. Meantime, the ways in which we engage with each other is changing all the time, with social media platforms being the most recent.
There's a line in the Bible that reads, "Physician, heal thyself." Friedrich Nietzsche took it a bit further by adding: "then wilt though also heal thy patient." The context in which the advice was offered is understood to apply to looking out for the well-being of your neighbor. That is, you can't adequately look out for others if you don't first look out for yourself.
We’ve written at length in previous posts about the legal protections workers have from discriminatory treatment based on race, gender, religion or other personal traits. However, many undocumented workers must contend with such treatment—including unfairly low or lost wages, harassment and other labor law violations in the workplace—and they’re too afraid of potential repercussions to speak out.
You’re at your cubicle at work, minding your own business. In a neighboring cubicle, your manager strikes up a conversation with a colleague. She brings up a police shooting that happened the week before, which resulted in the murder of an innocent black man. To your horror, you overhear your boss making fun of the victim—even blaming him for being shot.
You’ve probably heard that women earn an average of 20 percent less than what men in the same position make. From the moment a woman enters the workforce, this unequal footing sets her on a disadvantaged trajectory for her entire career.
Temporary workers typically don’t have the most illustrious jobs. As a temp, you may be treated like a second-class citizen in the workplace. Perhaps the company you’re working at needed some extra hands during the holiday rush, so they contracted you to help out with basic, menial tasks. Consequently, they treat you like a low-status laborer with no real skills or substance. Perhaps your temporary status excludes you from team meetings—which are only reserved for permanent employees. On top of that, you have no sense of job security, because as a temp, your boss can cancel your contract at the drop of a hat.
If your employer is treating you in a discriminatory way, you may know that you have rights under federal law, which protect you against adverse action based on your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, pregnancy, age or disability. However, understanding that your employer’s behavior is illegal and proving it’s illegal are two very different matters.