When Hillary Clinton failed to become the nation's first female president in America, many women took this as a sign that things are not improving for women in the workplace. Logically, we know that some good change has occurred for working ladies, but is it enough to put a crack in that sturdy glass ceiling?
Many people working in Michigan wonder why it is so difficult for them to identify workplace discrimination. In some cases, victims need their jobs and simply wish or hope that they are imagining the discrimination. Other times, workers know deep down, but they choose to put the matter out of their minds. Again, the need to work and earn an income often means ignoring any suspicions workers may have about workplace discrimination.
A human resources coordinator, who worked for the Detroit Foundation Hotel up until last year, has filed a discrimination lawsuit against her former employer. In her federal court filing, she outlines how the hotel's management referred to her other African-American colleagues using derogatory language. She also notes that they weren't given promotions because of their skin color.
All over the Detroit region and other Michigan cities, more and more employees are standing up against workplace discrimination. This is a sign of growing awareness about these issues across the nation. However, it is crucial for workers to understand that discrimination can occur before employment even begins.
Michigan's new governor, Gretchen Whitmer, recently signed an executive order that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) state employees from discrimination. It also requires that the same protections extend to employees who work for companies that do business with the state, such as state contractors, or businesses that receive state loans, grants and such.
Three workers, who previously worked together at both a Detroit and Dearborn Tim Hortons, announced their intentions to file a federal race discrimination lawsuit against their former employer on Dec. 18. Each of the African-American workers alleges that they were paid an hourly rate that is below minimum wage and that their supervisors used racial slurs in interacting with them.
Typically, when you think of workplace discrimination, there's a good chance you think about bias against people based on race or gender. There's a good reason for this perception, as the unfortunate reality is that many people do face harassment and discrimination because of the ethnic group they belong to or because of their gender, and they have been fighting against this behavior for generations.
On Dec. 10, a federal jury in Detroit will begin hearing arguments related to a workplace discrimination lawsuit filed against the City of Warren. The plaintiff, who is a firefighter of Cuban descent, had filed a lawsuit earlier this year accusing his co-workers and supervisors of using racial slurs while interacting with him.
If you suspect that you have a viable claim for wrongful termination, don't be fooled by an employer who tries to say that you don't have a case because you were an "at-will" employee. At-will employment is a term used to describe an employment relationship in which the employer can choose to terminate the employment relationship without notice and without reason.
There was a time in the past when pregnancy meant the end of a working woman's career. A pregnant woman could not work in the eyes of most employers. Therefore, before pregnancy discrimination laws existed, many women found themselves not being hired, being terminated from their jobs or facing other negative employment consequences as soon as they became pregnant. This was devastating for them because it would often happen at exactly the moment when they needed their jobs the most.