Racial discrimination can happen in any workplace. It can surface in blatant ways such as being terminated for no apparent reason other than the color of your skin, or in subtle ways such as not being invited to a gathering with work colleagues. Although such cruel and illegal behavior continues to occur, it must not be tolerated.
While American women have made great strides in integrating various industries in the past 50 years, there are still many workplaces dominated by men. Though few workforces in California are all male or all female anymore, it’s not uncommon for there to only be a handful of women in certain workplaces.
Employees are undoubtedly under the authority of those in charge of their workplace. It is a known power imbalance that you agree to when you decide to submit to a new job offer. However, there are differences between what is considered a toxic place to work and when it crosses the line into unlawful acts.
Immigration is back in the news lately. Since immigration is largely a federal matter, the decisions made by lawmakers in Washington affect the ability of thousands of Californians to remain in this country.
In her powerful acceptance speech of the Cecil B. DeMille award at the Golden Globes, Oprah declared, “Their time is up!” referring to those who have habitually gotten away with sexual harassment in a variety of workplaces. Her words created quite at stir in the audience, not to mention the Twitter storm that erupted in the following days speculating on whether the television and entertainment star would run for president in the 2020 elections.
The wave of accusations against powerful show business figures, politicians and others that followed the downfall of movie producer Harvey Weinstein has put the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace at the top of the news cycle. It's a time for all of us to consider how unwelcome sexual comments, demands for sex, groping and more have hurt American workers, especially women, for decades.
Whether it happens to you or a close family member, a sudden medical emergency can turn your world upside down. It can force you to stop working for weeks or months, either as the patient or the primary caretaker. At the same time, you should not have to quit your job or risk getting fired because of a family emergency.
A retail job is hard work. Anyone who works in a national chain store like Target or Walmart, a local family-owned shop, or anything in between knows that it frequently involves long hours on your feet helping customers, restocking shelves or other duties. As the service industry continues to dominate the U.S. economy, more and more people in California will spend at least part of their lives working retail.
Have you ever witnessed your manager or someone else at your workplace breaking the law? Did you try to report it to someone, only to have your concerns waved off or covered up? If so, the law is on your side.
For decades, women working in California's tech industry region Silicon Valley have suffered sexual harassment and gender discrimination, with little done to solve the problem. Now, in a dramatic couple of weeks, attitudes toward harassment in this male-dominated field seem to be suddenly changing.