A survey published by Plos One found that workplace sexual harassment complaints had gone down in New Jersey and throughout the country between 2016 and 2018. It is believed that the #MeToo movement played a role in this occurring. Women who took part in the survey said that they felt more confident in reporting instances of harassment. They also said that they felt better about confronting their abusers than they had in the past.
There is a long history of the battle between workers and employers in establishing basic rights and protections for employees. While an individual has little power against a company, the basis of most laws focuses on protecting a class of workers from discriminatory actions in hiring practices as well as treatment in the workplace. For instance, one of the earliest efforts involved child labor in the early part of the 20th century. Although New Jersey and many other states have laws protecting the LGBTQ community, the issue is on the October slate of cases for the Supreme Court to decide.
New Jersey workers who file a discrimination claim against their employer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act may be able to have that claim heard in federal court even if they do not first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This was the unanimous decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Fort Bend County v. Davis.
LGBT workers continue to face discrimination on the job in New Jersey, even when they are in high-powered and highly compensated positions. For example, one former Goldman Sachs banker is suing the Wall Street firm after being fired. A leader in the company's LGBT network, the man says that he was fired in retaliation for his claims about discriminatory treatment and homophobia in the workplace. The lawsuit accuses the investment bank of paying "lip service" to diversity and LGBT equality while discrimination continues in practice on the job.
Older New Jersey employees who are concerned about workplace age discrimination should be aware of a proposed law that would make it easier to pursue monetary damages in the event of wrongful termination or demotion. POWADA, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, is a proposed law that seeks to make it less complicated to show that an employer committed age discrimination. Since a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2009 that sided heavily with employers, it has been more difficult for victims of age discrimination to successfully seek damages.
Workers in New Jersey and around the country generally cannot be retaliated against for raising valid concerns about their treatment. However, three women who worked at an Amazon warehouse in Minnesota say that they were retaliated against because they took part in a protest. They also claim that the company failed to promote workers based on their religion and national origin. The employees filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission outlining other specific allegations against the company.
LGBT workers in New Jersey may be intrigued to learn that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in several key cases concerning protections for workers against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The high court will hear three cases from Michigan, Georgia, and New York in which workers sued the companies that fired them; they allege that they were discriminated against for being LGBT. Two men, including a government employee and a skydiving instructor, said they were fired because they were gay. A transgender woman said she lost her job at a funeral home after she announced her transition.
New Jersey residents may be interested in learning about bipartisan legislation being introduced into Congress to make it easier for an individual to prove age discrimination. The legislation being introduced is entitled The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act. The goal of this legislation is to increase protection for older workers so that they are not excluded from the workforce simply because of their age.
In a new Hired study of tech companies, 60 percent of women were offered less money than male workers for the same positions. This is slightly lower than the 63 percent of women who were surveyed a year ago. Overall, the gender wage gap in the technology sector is 3 percent, but the gap is larger for some employees. For instance, black women made roughly 89 percent of what white males made. New Jersey workers may be interested in the other results from the study.
A new report by the Think Tank for Inclusion and Equity shows that workplace discrimination is alive and well. More than 60 percent of respondents said that they had been the victim of discrimination or harassment at their place of employment. Additionally, more than half of diverse respondents reported that they had experienced microaggressions and pushback when pitching ideas that were rejected, but those same ideas were often accepted at a later time when they were pitched by non-diverse employees.