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San Francisco Employment Law Blog

Does a fired Google employee have a discrimination case or not?

A Google employee made national headlines after writing an anti-diversity memo that essentially stated, among other things, that women were biologically unsuited to the tech industry.

He was terminated rather quickly for pushing gender stereotypes and violating a company code of conduct that prohibits the fostering of discrimination.

4 clues to determine what is and is not sexual harassment

Sexual harassment isn't just a woman's problem. Anyone of either gender can be sexually harassed by anyone else, However, if you're like most people, you aren't sure where the line is between poor behavior and actual harassment.

Here's how you can tell:

3 steps to stop unwanted sexual advances at work

How do you handle unwanted sexual advances at work?

Women have been dealing with this issue for decades, and they've had to think up all sorts of defenses to discourage unwanted suitors. Some conventional advice women were once offered included things like instructions to pretend that they had a husband at home (even wearing a ring), making up a boyfriend (if the boss or client knew they weren't married) and making sure to dress as conservatively as possible.

What is disparate impact discrimination?

Disparate impact discrimination is hard for a lot of people to understand because it is (usually) a type of unintentional discrimination.

On the surface, an employment or business practice may seem neutral and equally fair to everyone. In practice, however, the policy or method of doing business ends up being discriminatory against a protected class of employees if it excludes a group in a way that the employer simply didn't foresee

New Jersey and California wrongful termination suits linked

For Wells Fargo, the hits just keep coming.

The banking giant used to have a fairly solid reputation for honesty in its financial dealings -- but allegations of illegal acts, scams against customers, retaliatory acts and wrongful termination have tarnished the financial institution's image pretty heavily in the last year or two.

Even a legitimate retaliation case can be lost on a technicality

The former aide to a West Hollywood, California, councilman earned a bittersweet acknowledgment in court recently -- even though she lost, her lawsuit was justified.

The former aide, who served as one councilman's deputy, had been called as a witness for the plaintiff in a harassment case against another councilman. That plaintiff, a deputy for the other councilman, also accused a third councilman's deputy of other various misdeeds in the workplace.

What is workplace bullying, and when is it illegal?

Workplace bullies are manipulators. They aim to control others on an emotional or physical level, usually through anxiety, in order to meet their own personal agenda.

Whether the workplace bully you deal with is your coworker or supervisor, learn more about how to recognize the signs of a bully -- and how to tell if the bullying has crossed the lines into something illegal.

Sexual harassment and superstar employees

Experts say that sexual harassment has to be discouraged at an organizational level to make that discouragement effective. If a company wants to stop sexual harassment, those in charge need to assess the culture they've created and then take action.

In other words, management has to step up to the plate and fire the harassers if they want the message to get through that sexual harassment isn't acceptable at any level within the company, whether it's coming from the janitor or a top-rated employee.

Cancer victims still experience widespread discrimination at work

A cancer diagnosis is no longer always the end of someone's life -- and certainly not the end of their career. Given the constant breakthroughs in medicine and the way that treatments for cancer are becoming both less difficult to endure and more effective, many cancer victims continue working through their treatment. Others take a brief medical leave, fight off the illness and return to work when they're almost well again.

So why do so many of them still end up feeling like they aren't as valuable to their employers as they were before their cancer diagnosis?

Gender discrimination laws may help protect abuse victims' jobs

How long is it going to take before society stops blaming the domestic violence victim for the actions of the abuser?

It seems like the problem isn't ever going to end -- especially to abuse victims. For example, a California teacher was recently fired because her estranged and abusive husband entered school grounds and caused a panic. He went to jail -- but she was punished for being a victim by losing her job.

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