When Your Gender and Race Dictate Your Employment Fate

A former track coach is suing the University of Texas, alleging race and gender discrimination.  Coach Bev Kearney was forced to resign after university officials learned that she had a romantic relationship with one of her athletes more than a decade earlier.  Kearney’s lawsuit alleges that she, a black female employee, was treated worse than her Caucasian male peers – one of whom not only had a relationship with one of his athletes but who also received continued employment and promotions following the disclosure of that relationship. 

Despite being one of the top track trainers in the country at the time, Kearney was pushed out while other alleged transgressors were retained and promoted.  The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that Kearney’s case could continue on.  For more information, please read the article:


If you have been the victim of disparate treatment based on race or gender, you have rights.  It is important to contact an employment attorney at your earliest convenience as many of your claims may contain statutes of limitations. 

Study Finds Workers Unaware of Rights

As Seattle continues to grow, unfortunately workers' benefits do not.  In a recent study conducted by the ROC of Seattle, of 524 workers in the Seattle area, most were unaware of their basic rights, such as Seattle's paid sick leave law, and not properly paid overtime.  Furthermore, a little less than half are paid below the poverty level, ~20% have worked after clocking out, and many have had management take a cut of their tips.

To add insult to injury, men earn $5 more on average an hour than women of color, which is larger than the national average of $4. The ROC is trying to crack down on wage theft by passing a bill that if found guilty would require employers to pay the victims three times the amount of stolen wages. 

If you or someone you know has been mistreated at work or unfairly paid, please contact us today.  We are here to help you!

Booze and Pics for Perks: Seattle Tunnel Project

Almost anyone who lives in the Seattle area is aware of the Seattle tunnel project.  Recently, allegations of unprofessional and unsafe behaviors, and harassment on the project were reported to the WA State Dept of Transportation by a Seattle Tunnel Project (private contractor: STP) employee.  The allegations assert that the supervisors of a carpentry crew were hostile, discriminatory, and featured a quid pro quo system of needing to bring alcohol to the foreman in exchange for perks (better shifts, overtime, etc).  Furthermore, many employees would show up to work intoxicated, furthering the unsafe environment for the employees and the public.

Additionally, this employee reported episodes of sexual harassment, where a woman's supervisor solicited provocative photos via text messaging.  King 5 investigated the situation and found many people who corroborated the allegations.  Despite all of this, STP continues to deny any wrongdoing.

Unfortunately, the employee who brought the concern has since quit the company.  No one should ever feel that quitting is their only option.  If you feel you have worked or are working in unprofessional and unsafe environment, please contact us today!



ExxonMobile Adopts LGBT Workplace Protections

After President Barack Obama's executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual ordination or gender identity, ExxonMobile adopted LGBT workplace protections.  For many years, ExxonMobile's shareholders have voted to reject adopting LGBT workplace protections; however, due to the President's executive order, ExxonMobile is finally extending workplace protections. 

While this may seem like a win, unfortunately ExxonMobile made a statement that the only reason it did it was to not lose federal contracts, insinuating their lack of enthusiasm for the spirit of the executive order.  Even if your company has discrimination policies in place does not mean they are following them.  If you feel you have been subject to discrimination in the workplace, please contact us today.



Saks Fifth Avenue Discriminating Against Transgender Employees

In a lawsuit in Texas, Saks Fifth Avenue argued that discrimination on the basis of gender identity is not prohibited by federal law.  However, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have taken the position that the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act protects transgender employees from harassment and discrimination.

If you feel you have been harassed or discriminated at work, please contact us today.


NY Daily News

Maternity Leave Still Difficult for Women

Many women in the U.S. still do not receive paid time off for maternity leave.  Unless you work for a company that voluntarily offers it or live in one of the three states that requires it, paid maternity leave does not exist.  The Family and Medical Leave Act grants 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year; however, this law only applies to full-time employees at companies larger than 50 employees.  This means that only about half of Americans are covered by the FMLA.

Paid leave is another issue.  Only 12% of Americans have access to paid leave according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as outlined in Bloomberg

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) in 2013 introduced the Family Act, which would make employers offer new parents three month paid leave at 66% salary; however, the bill has been stalled.  The current generation graduating from college does not experience the pay gap older generations have experienced.  The discrepancy grows as they get older and do not advance at the same pace as their male counterparts.  And, this seems to happen as women start to have children.

According to the U.N., the U.S. and Papua New Guinea are the only two countries in the world that don't have some form of legally mandated partially paid time off. If you or anyone you know feels you have been discriminated against due to pregnancy or not being allowed to take your full maternity leave, please contact us today. 


Tech Industries' Lack of Diversity Shows in Stats

Recently, many technology firms have been forthcoming with their diversity statistics.  However, this has proven what so many have known or guessed - minorities are severely underrepresented.  At Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and others, more than 50% of employees are white and only 25%-30% are female.  And, the problem usually only gets worse as you look at senior management.

As Josh Constine at TechCrunch said, "...they all get an F for being heavily skewed male, white and Asian."


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