Category: Race Discrimination

Employees Sue the Most in…

This month, a Hiscox survey revealed the states that employees tend to sue employers the most. The reason for these states higher than normal rates is attributed to state-wide labor codes that supersede federal laws in terms of harsher penalties and repercussions.  So who, what, and where?

Coming in at #5 is the state of Georgia. Georgia’s sue rates are 18% higher than other parts of the country. Tied at #4 are Arizona and Mississippi. Both states see, on average, 19% more lawsuits by employees than the national average.

Alabama rings in at #3 with a 25% above average chance that an employee will sue the employer for violations of labor law. Illinois edges out Alabama for the #2 spot with 26% higher average.

And the state that beats them all? Well, California of course! California is #1 with businesses facing a 43% higher chanced of being sued than the national average. California has employee stricter employee protections put in place as compared to other states in the country. The Fair Employment and Housing Act protects from various discrimination risks and covers companies with five or more employees as opposed to the nation’s 15 employee minimum.

The fives lowest suing states are: Massachusetts, Michigan, Kentucky, Washington, and West Virginia.

Is the U.S. Department of Justice Racist?

dojJoshua Nesbitt joined the Department of Justice in 1992. As is common at any job, after several years of service, Nesbitt applied for a promotion in 2010. Unfortunately, Nesbitt did not receive a promotion; another attorney with the Department with less experience and poorer application requirements did. So what is unusual about this scenario? Nesbitt is claiming that he was passed over for the promotion because he is an African American employee, while the man who did get the job is Caucasian.

A federal jury in Washington D.C. was to hear the case next week. They would have deliberated and decided whether race was a factor in Nesbitt’s promotion denial. Since 2013, Nesbitt has been representing himself, but he recently obtained representation for the trial. As of Monday morning, the DOJ had settled the case. Attorneys for Nesbitt have confirmed that “an agreement in principle has been reached.”

The DOJ had argued that the attorney who was selected for the promotion had leadership and supervisory experience that Nesbitt did not have. Nesbitt argued that supervisory experience was not listed as a qualification. The DOJ attempted to have the case tossed out of court last year, however, a senior judge ruled that Nesbitt had provided enough inconsistencies within the hiring process to allow the case to go to trial.

Clippers, Controversy, and Callous Remarks

clippers sterlingDuring NBA playoff season, the Los Angeles Clippers seem to be losing focus, especially after their loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. The reason? Well we’re sure you’ve heard of Donald Sterling by now, the owner of the LA team.

Sterling was launched into the spotlight on April 25th when an alleged recording of himself and a woman was leaked to the public. In that recording, Sterling berates V. Stiviano, his girlfriend for posing for an Instagram picture with legend Magic Johnson saying, “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people.” Sterling goes on to say that his mixed-race girlfriend “should not bring blacks to Clippers games.”

Clippers president, Andy Roesen, is attempting to validate that the male voice on that recording is indeed Sterling. The rest of the NBA, however, is enraged by Sterling’s comments. “You have to suspend and fine him immediately,” commented former NBA star Charles Barkley. LeBron James of the Miami Heat added, “There is no room for Donald Sterling in our league.”

The sports and Hollywood communities are up in arms due to Sterling’s comments, which lost him a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP.

This isn’t the first time he’s been pegged in controversy, however. In August 2006, the Department of Justice sued Sterling for discrimination for disallowing non-Koreans from renting in a Koreatown neighborhood and African Americans in Beverly Hills. Allegedly, he also did not rent to Latinos because they “smoke, drink, and just hang around the building” and that “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.” Sterling was found liable for over $7 million to plaintiffs and their attorneys.

We’ll follow the story to see if a discrimination lawsuit follows from any NBA members.

Source: LA Times & NY Daily News

New York, New York…is Settling a Discrimination Lawsuit

Today’s big spender is New York City, who will be shelling out approximately $98 million to settle a long running lawsuit against the city for discriminatory practices. The suit, which was filed in 2007, alleges that the entrance exam required of applicants to the New York City Fire Department led to “a disproportionate number of black and Latino applicants” being excluded from the application process.

According to the suit, only about 3% of 9,000 firefighters were black and only 7% were Latino. This hardly accurately reflected the city demographic in which about a quarter of the population is African American and more than a quarter is Latino-American.

A consent decree has also been filed, which will allow for court-appointed monitoring of NYC’s application process for firefighters. This is meant to ensure an equal opportunity process. Since the lawsuit was filed, the numbers for African American and Latino firefighters have almost increased, settling at 6% and 12% respectively in 2013.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Employment Discrimination: An Overview

With 2014 fresh and new, let’s return to the basics of a hotly discussed topic. Here you’ll find an overview of employment discrimination. If you feel this applies to you in the workplace, please contact an attorney immediately.

Employment Discrimination laws seek to prevent discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, physical disability, and age by employers among other things. A growing body of law also seeks to prevent employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Discriminatory practices include bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, compensation, retaliation, and various types of harassment. The main body of employment discrimination laws consists of federal and state statutes. The United States Constitution and some state constitutions provide additional protection when the employer is a governmental body or the government has taken significant steps to foster the discriminatory practice of the employer.