The New Jersey State Law Against Discrimination requires employers to provide reasonable religious accommodation to workers. The U.S. Constitution and the New Jersey State Constitution both guarantee people the right to observe the religion of their choice. In the employment setting, religious accommodation is an acknowledgement that employees come from different faiths and should not be restricted from practicing their religion without good reason. Any sincerely held religious belief is entitled to, at the very least, a discussion of ways your employer can accommodate.
According to Equal Employment Opportunity laws, retaliation is "when an employer unlawfully takes action against an individual in punishment for exercising rights protected by any of the EEO laws." The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) does not handle all types of retaliation, but a significant percentage of the claims it handles are based on these allegations. EEOC data shows that 43 percent of the bias charges it handled for private sector employers were based on accusations of retaliation.
New York City is releasing new guidelines to help combat discrimination against people based on gender or gender identity. The New York City Human Rights Commission has put forth specific rules explaining just what amounts to discrimination. The rules cover discriminatory practices that often target gay and transgender people. The guidelines will apply to a large percentage of businesses, as well as to landlords and other employers.
Employers are forbidden by state and federal laws to engage in a number of abusive or discriminatory behaviors. They cannot, for example, refuse to hire you or bully, abuse or intimidate you based on your race, gender, ethnicity, nation of origin, general identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability or age. Employers generally must comply with rules about minimum wage, overtime pay, family and medical leave and more. Unfortunately, that does not mean that employers must conduct themselves in a reasonable or caring manner. There are any number of common practices among employers that fly in the face of decency and logic. Among those are hiring practices that can turn a criminal record into a lifetime of poverty and dependency.
The Food and Drug Administration has long maintained the policy that gay men are not allowed to donate blood. The policy is insulting, degrading and unscientific. The FDA has finally agreed to change this decades-old policy. Unfortunately, the new policy does little more than slightly change the flavor of the discrimination. The FDA will now accept blood donations from gay men, as long as they have not had sexual contact with another man for at least a year. The policy matches those maintained by Australia, New Zealand the U.K. It does not, however, match with the ideals of a nation that does not, or should not, discriminate against people based on sexual orientation.
Well, it didn't take long, did it? Right when we're still in mourning for Paris, on Wednesday the 2nd of December, another December day that will "live in infamy," two animals claiming to be religious soldiers killed 14 innocent people and wounded 21 others. Syed Rizwan Farook was born here. His wife, Tashfeen Malik, was born in Pakistan and was here legally.
Age discrimination is a serious problem in the employment world. New Jersey and federal laws protect workers from adverse employment actions based on age. A recent study indicates that age discrimination might often be another form of discrimination in disguise. According to the National Economic Bureau of Research, women are substantially more likely to be discriminated against based on age than men. The study suggested that age discrimination is largely another way to penalize female workers.
James Pittman sued the Kansas City based Cook Paper Recycling Corporation last year, alleging that he was fired in 2001 after 7 years. His theory was that he was fired because he was gay. A lower Missouri court had previously dismissed Pittman's suit, and a three panel appeals court upheld that ruling last week (the week of October 26th) in a "split decision." Two Judges were in the majority and said that the Missouri "human rights act" covers only gender, and not sexual orientation.
Or... "I Finally Get to Talk about Football in a Blog - Sort of."
Transgender people are frequently targeted for abuse and oppression. Even people who do not target same-sex oriented individuals may demonstrate ignorance and bigotry when dealing with transgendering. A recent decision by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission bodes well for transgender employees who want to be free from discrimination in the workplace. The ruling requires the Department of the Army to pay damages based on inappropriate actions toward a transgender employee.