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Long Island Employment Law Blog

Reporting age discrimination to HR or the EEOC

A survey of older adults conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons indicated that almost 66 percent of respondents had witnessed or experienced age discrimination in the workplace. Only three percent make complaints though, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. For older workers in New York, it is important to know how to report instances of age discrimination, and what rights they have.

Older women have filed more complaints with the EEOC than men every year since 2010. As recently as 1990, men filed more than twice as many EEOC complaints as women. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that women aged 55 or older will make up an increasing proportion of the workforce going forward, while the proportion of men aged 55 and older will decline.

ACLU alleges bias by Facebook

According to the American Civil liberties Union, or ACLU, Facebook is discriminating against New York workers and others with its advertising policies. Specifically, the ACLU says that women and those who don't associate with either gender are not being shown ads for jobs. The lawsuit is being brought on behalf of three women who claim that they didn't see ads for jobs in industries dominated by men.

Those who are see employment ads on the site can click on them to see who the ad is targeting. This made it possible to determine that ads for police officers in Greensboro, North Carolina, were targeting men between the ages of 25-35 while excluding others. While Facebook says that advertising cannot discriminate based on gender or sexual orientation, many ads in the complaint either featured photographs of men or no picture at all. The ACLU also claims that the social networking site knew only certain job candidates were able to see advertisements.

When your employer is responsible for a hostile work environment

Many individuals say that they do not enjoy their jobs. Due to their position’s stressful tasks, annoyances of other employees and even incompetent bosses, many workers feel like their work environment is to blame. Yet when employees bring forward hostile work environment claims, strict boundaries are set to determine whether the employee has legal grounds to file a claim against an employer.

Know that if you face any type of discrimination in the workplace, including a hostile work environment, United States law gives you the legal authority to ensure your safety and comfort through a harassment claim. If you wish to bring a claim against your employer, you want to hire an experienced employment law attorney to aid you in receiving compensatory damages. First, with the help of your attorney, you want to ensure that your employer proves responsible for your claim.

Lack of diversity leads to major JP Morgan settlement

A lack of diversity amid charges of outright racial discrimination continues to haunt the financial industry as well as others in the New York City area. Following similar settlements by Merrill Lynch in 2013 and Wells Fargo in 2016, JP Morgan agreed to a payout of $24 million in response to an allegation that black financial advisors were treated differently than their white counterparts. JP Morgan admitted no liability in announcing the settlement, which brings to conclusion a potential class-action lawsuit.

JP Morgan was apparently aware of this issue prior to the filing of the lawsuit. Its CEO noted in a shareholder letter from 2016 that although the company felt it was doing as good a job as any in the industry at hiring and retaining black employees, it needed to do better. This settlement dramatically underscores that point.

EEOC takes harder stance on ageism

Employees over the age of 40 in New York and throughout the country are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. However, age discrimination still happens, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, is getting tougher when it comes to pursuing age discrimination claims. The acting chair of the EEOC said that it was a topic she takes personal interest in.

She also mentioned that discrimination against older workers is common and done in a causal manner in many workplaces. According to a report by the EEOC, a worker's age is not indicative of his or her skill level. However, many companies discriminate based on age in a manner that isn't tolerated when talking about a person's gender or race. This is partially because it can be hard to prove that such discrimination took place. The Supreme Court requires workers to show that age was the primary factor in an employment decision.

Determining whether there is a gender pay gap at work

Women in New York may want to research salaries using tools such as Payscale and Glassdoor to ensure they are being paid fairly. Experts say that while the pay gap between men and women is narrowing, it still exists.

One of the reasons for this gap is that women tend to negotiate salary less aggressively than men. They are under pressure to be more likable at work and could be penalized for that perceived aggression. However, companies are increasingly conducting audits to determine whether a gender pay gap exists and adjusting salaries accordingly. When the CEO of Nike was presented with a survey in which women employees reported harassment and discrimination on the job, the company adjusted the salaries of 7,000 employees, and 11 executives lost their jobs.

Lawsuits claim older workers blocked from seeing online job ads

Most job seekers in New York turn to the internet, but the demographic targeting enabled by online advertisers appears to be preventing older job candidates from viewing job opportunities. Lawsuits on behalf of people who experienced age discrimination have begun to hit the court system. These cases could establish whether age filtering on job advertisements represents illegal conduct.

A suit filed by the Communications Workers of America against Facebook, T-Mobile and other companies directly calls out organizations for excluding older people. One of the plaintiffs, a 45-year-old woman, reported that daily visits to job sites revealed few open positions. Her 26-year-old daughter, however, had access to many job ads on Facebook and quickly found work.

How workers can respond to gender discrimination

New York workers often face gender bias and discrimination on a daily basis. For instance, failing to make eye contact with female colleagues while doing so for male colleagues is one example of potential discrimination. While most people don't intend to treat their colleagues differently based on their gender, it can still have an impact on how people perceive their role at work.

However, there are ways that workers themselves can combat acts of discrimination both large and small. For instance, it may be possible to casually mention to a coworker that a certain action comes across as disparate treatment. In many cases, a person wasn't intending to cause any harm and will try to avoid the offending behavior in the future. If this isn't the case, an employee has the right to take his or her concerns to an HR representative.

Survey seeks employee input regarding age discrimination

The AARP recently conducted a survey of those over the age of 45 to gauge their feelings about age discrimination at work. Of those in New York and elsewhere who responded, 61 percent said that they had experienced age discrimination or seen others experience it. Furthermore, 38 percent said that they believed the practice to be very common. However, research does show that the workforce participation rate for older Americans is higher than it was before the Great Recession.

Furthermore, it is believed that by 2020, roughly 35 percent of the workforce is going to be 50 or older. According to the AARP survey, over 90 percent said that they would be in favor of stronger laws against age discrimination. Age discrimination at work can take a variety of forms, such as hearing comments about a person's age by a boss or colleague. Others say that not getting a job or getting bypassed for a promotion constitutes age discrimination.

Should you be paid for training during work hours?

You like your job and working hourly is not too much of an issue. You get a break or two every day and you enjoy taking a brief recess from you work.

However, recently there have been training sessions and meetings you have feel obligated to go to or are required to attend that are scheduled during your breaks. They seem to be essential as they provide valuable information but you do not like giving up your few breaks during the day.

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