Employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees or potential employees on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. Some signs of racial discrimination are surprisingly apparent, but in many cases, the signs are subtler.
Tennessee residents who are concerned about workplace discrimination should be aware that L'Oreal has been sued for racial discrimination and creating a toxic work environment. This incident provides an example of what could happen if a company neglects to address claims of discrimination internally.
Riot Games' hit production "League of Legends" has fans across Tennessee, but the company itself has been beset by allegations of sexism, especially after journalists exposed allegation from current and former female employees. These workers cited instances of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual attention on the job as well as a company culture in which women were routinely denied opportunities for employment or advancement. Now, two women, a current employee and a former employee, have come together to file a class-action lawsuit against the video game developer.
There are roughly 43.8 million people throughout the country who deal with mental illness in a given year. That is according to the National Alliance on Mental Health, and it could have an impact on how such individuals are treated at work. For instance, Tennessee workers might be more likely to face harassment from their employers because of their condition. They could also be discriminated against when applying for jobs.
According to research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, seniors over the age of 65 are expected to be the fastest-growing demographic in workforce by the year 2022. Despite this trend, 60 percent of older employees have either seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace. Even though there are laws in place against discriminating against employees 40 years or older, many people in this age group report being passed up from promotion or hearing negative comments about their age.
Tennessee frequent flyers might be interested in news about a racial discrimination lawsuit that has been filed against Southwestern Airlines. The lawsuit was filed by a former employee who claims that the airline allowed some employees to set up a whites-only break room at an airport where he worked. He also says that he was fired from his job for an infraction that was also committed by white employees, but they were not fired.
While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people in Tennessee and other states against discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex and national origin, it's the Age Discrimination in Employment Act that offers protection against discrimination due to age. Because of this separation, individuals filing discrimination charges have to determine which type of discrimination applies most to their situation. This is sometimes a difficult choice for older women, nearly two-thirds of whom report having seen or experienced age-related discrimination at work according to an AARP survey.
JPMorgan has agreed to spend $24 million to settle a lawsuit from six black employees who alleged that there was systemic racism within the organization. Of the $24 million the company will pay, $4.5 million will go toward anti-bias training for employees in Tennessee and other states. The other $19.5 million is going to be split among 250 employees who either are or were associated with the company.
In 1967, Congress approved the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. It was intended to prevent age-related discrimination in the workplace. Workers' positions were to be based on merit and ability rather than age. This is an especially important protection for older workers in Tennessee and across the country, but courts have made it extremely difficult to apply the ADEA's protections. The EEOC has prioritized the enforcement of the act as the employment landscape changes in the post-recession era.
Increasing numbers of people in Tennessee participate in the gig economy. While the work may be flexible, employment law offers freelancers almost no protection from discrimination and harassment. Antiquated laws currently ignore the needs of independent contractors, but freelancers can take the proactive steps of carefully vetting potential clients and using discriminatory behavior clauses in contracts.