Gaps in pay that are associated to gender have been around since women entered the workplace. Bridging, and eventually closing those gaps, is an ongoing process that may take several years to complete. While there may always be some differentiation between the pay for both men and women, the fact that women will remain in the workplace is bringing about positive change.
From the proliferation of the #MeToo movement and the spotlight on gender equality issue to advances in artificial intelligence, 2018 was an eventful year for employment law. Here's a look back at how these events shaped the current environment and some thoughts about what you can expect to see over the next 12 months.
The recent passing of a Massachusetts law addressing non-compete agreements has employers across the country taking notice. This new law, which has been called "foolish" and "counterproductive" by analysts, grants employees bound by non-compete agreements some bold new rights.
Florida advocates and lawmakers are pushing for new protections for the LGBTQ community. The proposed Florida Competitive Workplace Act, which is supported by both Democratic representative Ben Diamond and Republican representative Rene Plascencia, aims at preventing employers in the restaurant and lodging industries or other public accommodations from discriminating against workers based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
A recent lawsuit by a former Walt Disney World employee has raised some concern over the topic of pregnancy discrimination for workers in specialty roles. The plaintiff, Krista Crowder, claims she should not have been fired for taking a medically-necessary 11- month leave following her pregnancy.
The rise of sexual harassment allegations stemming from the #MeToo movement has left many employers reeling as they try to implement policies and procedures to protect themselves from potential liability. Some have elected to impose a zero-tolerance policy for all sexually inappropriate behaviors in the workplace. While this sounds good on paper, in reality, it can have some unintended consequences.
The massively popular fast-food restaurant chain McDonald's is facing serious sexual harassment allegations involving 10 employees spread across nine different cities. Backed by two national advocacy groups, the employees allege that they were groped and exposed to lewd comments, indecent exposure, and sexual propositions at the hands of their supervisors. A 15-year-old girl from St. Louis is among the list of claimants.
With the #MeToo movement, there has been heightened awareness and actions taken against incidents of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination across many business sectors. There have been long been civil rights laws in place with the intent of protecting workers from sexual discrimination in the workplace and in educational institution. However, discrimination on the basis of an employee's sexual orientation is still a gray area where legislation is concerned. This is changing as recent federal appellate court decisions are reevaluating the extension of both Title VII and Title IX to workplace protections against sexual orientation discrimination. Most educational institutions, such as colleges, universities and many K-12 schools are required to abide by Title IX's sex discrimination protections.
Workplace discrimination is a serious allegation. As an employer, knowing what not to say in certain situations can save you a lot of problems. This is particularly important when dealing with an employee who is expecting.
Beginning in 2000, the United States Census Bureau began allowing respondents to choose more than one racial category. Following that census, 2.4 percent of the U.S. population identified themselves as multiracial. In the 2010 census, that number increased to 2.9 percent. There is speculation that the multiracial population in the United States may have been underestimated and the number of those who identify as such will continue to grow.