A Michigan rehabilitation facility responded to a lawsuit filed by a former employee by denying claims made against its director of nursing operations. In the legal action, a nursing supervisor formerly employed by Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital alleged that the director practiced race discrimination when she told the supervisor that she would not be allowed to provide any care for a white patient. According to the report, the patient's family had made the request that there be no black caregivers for him. The former nursing supervisor is African-American.
Michigan workers may be interested to hear of proposed legislation that may be introduced in the near future. On Dec. 17, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren announced her desire to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to prohibit employers from running credit checks on prospective employees. Warren believes that employer practice of screening employees based on their credit is a veiled way of engaging in workplace discrimination. The bill provides an exception for jobs requiring national security clearance.
A Grand Rapids nursing supervisor has filed a lawsuit against Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital because she claims the hospital agreed to a family's wish not to have black employees care for their family member. The nurse filed her workplace discrimination lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Nov. 27.
Legislation prohibiting the discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people in the workplace was approved by the U.S. Senate in November. The Employee Non-Discrimination Act has been before Congress many times since it was first created in 1994 but it wasn't until now that Congress has acted on it. With a vote of 64-32, Senate approved the legislation. The bill is now before the House or Representatives, where it's expect to fail.
Michigan fashion fans may have heard about the allegations of racist and offensive treatment made against a trendy New York City clothing store. A former salesperson for the British fashion outlet Alexander McQueen has filed a workplace discrimination lawsuit, saying that she was called such epithets as "burrito face" and "taco smoke" in derogatory reference to her Hispanic heritage. Specifically, the civil suit alleges that the 43-year-old woman's boss pummeled her with what she called a persistent and offensive barrage of comments based against her national origin and race.
In an action that Muslim workers in Detroit might find relevant, a group of Somali Muslim DHL Global Mail employees are claiming religious discrimination because the delivery company reversed its policy of flexible break times, which initially allowed them to stop work for the five-minute prayers required by their religion. The Islamic employees accused DHL of worker discrimination after the company fired two dozen of them, allegedly for pausing in their duties to say the prayers, which had previously been allowed. One fired employee made $11.57 per hour to sort mail and said that he had never received any negative comments about his work.
A Maryland woman has filed a complaint against Hooters, the restaurant chain with locations in Michigan and around the country, claiming that she was unfairly discharged from her position as a waitress at the Baltimore location. The complaint was filed with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.
In 2010, three female employees at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. filed a group lawsuit against their former employer, alleging that Goldman Sachs has a pattern of gender discrimination against female associates and vice presidents. The three plaintiffs included a former vice president, a former managing director and a former associate.
The Supreme Court's 2011 ruling in Wal-Mart v. Dukes is fast becoming the new seminal citation for employers seeking to prevent employment discrimination plaintiffs from gaining class certification. In the case underlying the Wal-Mart decision, the plaintiffs alleged Wal-Mart engaged in a pattern of systemic gender discrimination, which prevented women from advancing out of lower-paying jobs at a much higher rate than their male associates. Wal-Mart claimed it had a strong anti-discrimination policy and pointed to its local managers, including those in its Detroit stores, who made all personnel decisions.
People in Michigan and elsewhere are probably not surprised to hear that although gender discrimination is prohibited under federal law, transgender individuals still face discrimination in the workplace. A 2011 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruling established that gender identity is protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.