One of the most upsetting and frustrating things about our world is that even as we progress technologically and grow personally and intellectually, there are still far too many cases where workers are discriminated against. Some people simply use factors that are irrelevant to job performance to gate their employment community and their company, and it's despicable.
Uber continues to experience a very difficult year. About five months ago, we highlighted the sexual harassment issues the company was having. This issue came on the heels of some very public legal spats with Google over some self-driving technology. And swirling around it all was then-CEO Travis Kalanick, who has since been removed from his position and is no longer involved with Uber as CEO. He apparently still has his position on the board of directors.
Three women have filed a lawsuit against Google after they claimed to have been paid less than their male counterparts while doing the same amount and level of work. Additionally, the women claim that they were placed on lower job ladders. The allegations are very serious, and the lawsuit seeks class action status for other women who worked at Google over the last four years.
Going to work may be difficult some days, but at the very least, you should be able to count on feeling safe and comfortable at work. You should be in your office and have the feeling that no other employee is judging you or discriminating against you based on any factor. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen, and as a result plenty of employees are discriminated against every day in the United States.
Amazon has a record of being in support of the LGBTQ community, however a recent incident at one of their shipping warehouses in Kentucky has cast a pall over the company. A man and his transgender wife worked for Amazon at the Warehouse from 2014 to 2015, and they eventually resigned because the hostile work environment was simply too much for them to endure.
Every company is a little different. The culture will vary from business to business. Each employee is going to have his or her quirks, may they be positive or negative. Each company will respond to important issues in different ways. And the everyday interactions between employees and companies can't always be predicted.
The Chinese fast food chain Panda Express has agreed to settle a Department of Justice complaint that it engaged in recordkeeping activity that discriminated against noncitizens lawfully working in the United States. The Justice Department announced that the company, which operates some 1,800 restaurants nationwide, will set aside $200,000 for a back pay fund to compensate the affected workers. Panda Express has also agreed to pay a $400,000 civil penalty.
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that employers have more power over you than they really do. You may think that companies can do what they want, but in reality that isn't true. You, as an employee, have many rights. And when your employer decides to violate those rights or take action that is illegal, then you need to seriously consider your legal position and make the necessary moves.
Age discrimination has always been a problem when it comes to getting or having a job, but it will be an even more problematic issue as tech companies and the tech industry -- which thrives on younger, highly-skilled individuals -- becomes more ingrained in the national consciousness. But is that last statement just an opinion, or is there truth to the idea?
In the last few weeks, we talked about at-will employment and the rights employees have when it comes to their termination (should that arise). At-will employment means that an employer can fire an employee for any reason so long as it doesn't violate the employee's rights or violate state and federal laws. Employees have rights to, after all, and there are many legitimate ways for them to terminate an employee's contract.