Tagged Articles

discrimination 14 articles

Former Tesla Worker Sues Over Alleged Workplace Racism

Tesla Inc. is working hard to save the world from bad drivers and toxic emissions, but behind the scenes it is battling a problem separate from its production of self-driving electric vehicles: racism in the workplace. A Tesla employee recently filed a lawsuit against the company asserting that its production floor is a “hotbed for racist behavior.” The plaintiff claims that he and other black employees are exposed to severe racism that has infected the entire workplace. “Although Tesla stands out as a groundbreaking company at the forefront of the electric car revolution, its standard operating procedure at the Tesla ... Read More

Gender discrimination lawsuit seeks $110 million from Novartis

Swiss drugmaker Novartis Corp. is facing another gender discrimination lawsuit alleging the company routinely denies women equal pay and bars them from promotions and leadership positions. The proposed class-action complaint, filed in a New York City federal court, seeks $110 million and comes less than five years after a U.S. jury ordered the company to pay $250 million in another class-action lawsuit that made similar claims. In 2010, that verdict was the largest award in a work discrimination case to be handed down in the U.S. The new complaint alleges that Novartis sustains a “boy’s club atmosphere” hostile to female ... Read More

Playboy whistleblower receives record award under anti-fraud accounting law

A federal jury in California has ordered Playboy Enterprises to pay a former accounting executive at least $6 million for wrongful termination in what is believed to be the largest compensatory damages verdict given under the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley law. Catherine Zulfer, a longtime employee of the company, alleged she was fired after she reportedly refused to accrue $1 million in bonuses for top executives without the board’s approval and for complaining to management about “actual and suspected frauds and improprieties” in the company’s bookkeeping. Ms. Pachler claimed in her lawsuit that Playboy’s Chief Financial Officer Christof Pachler pressured her to ... Read More

U.S. Labor Department revises policy to accommodate Supreme Court’s DOMA decision

Many individuals in same-sex marriages will now be permitted to take an unpaid leave of absence to care for a sick or injured spouse without getting fired, thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent invalidation of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had denied same-sex couples of the critical federal benefit. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) confirmed on its blog that as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Americans will no longer be forced to choose between keeping their job and caring for a sick spouse. The new law, ... Read More

Senate Committee passes bill to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBT workers

A bipartisan bill that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has passed a Senate Committee by a vote of 15 to 7. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA, received the support of all 12 Democrats and 3 Republicans on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The bill was co-sponsored by Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). According to the Huffington Post, the committee spent just 10 minutes discussing the bill before voting it forward. The Committee Chairman, Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), said that the speed at which the bill passed ... Read More

OSHA establishes new website to support whistleblowers

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration unveiled a new website this week dedicated to providing would-be whistleblowers with encouragement and protection. According to OSHA, “workers who ‘blow the whistle’ on prohibited or unlawful practices in the workplace or report safety and health discrimination play an important role” in keeping employers in line with federal laws. The website – www.whistleblower.gov – is designed to provide workers, employers, and the public with easily accessible information about the 18 federal whistleblower protection statutes that OSHA currently administers. While the information is available on OSHA’s main website, the agency wanted to make it ... Read More

Jury orders Novartis to pay $250 million for sex discrimination

Pharmaceutical drug manufacturer Novartis must pay $3.3 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages for systemically discriminating against thousands of female employees, a federal jury in Manhattan ruled on Wednesday. Twelve female Novartis employees filed the lawsuit, alleging they received less pay than their male counterparts, were promoted less frequently, and had to endure a hostile work environment. The women sought damages from $190 million to $285 million, calculated as two to three percent of the company’s $9.5 billion revenues it made in 2009. The jury, comprised of five women and four men, agreed, opening the door ... Read More

Sex discrimination class action against Wal-Mart may proceed

A federal appeals court dealt Wal-Mart a huge blow today when it ruled that the largest sex-discrimination lawsuit in U.S. history may proceed as a class action. The lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2001 by a group of six female Wal-Mart employees, could potentially affect more than 1.5 million women throughout the country, a 2001 estimate found. The plaintiffs allege that Wal-Mart, the world’s largest private employer, paid female employees less than their male coworkers, promoted females less frequently than men, and made them wait longer for promotions than men when they were given the opportunity to move up. ... Read More

Teenager’s death leads to multiple FLSA and OSHA fines for Georgia company

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and hour Division has ordered a Suwanee, Georgia-based demolition company to pay a steep penalty for violating child labor laws after a teenage employee died on the work site. The teenager, an employee of Demon Demo Inc., was working on a demolition site at Macy’s in the Gwinnett Place Mall when he fell from the third story of the building. The boy had been tossing debris off the building when he fell. The fine was the first one issued by the Wage and Hour Division under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 – ... Read More

Nursing home group must pay Latino workers in discrimination lawsuit

Latinos who worked in California and Texas nursing homes owned by Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. who claimed they were punished for speaking Spanish while at work will receive up to $450,000, free English classes and other compensation under a consent decree from a class-action lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times. The lawsuit claims that Skilled Healthcare Group issued a rule that Latinos must speak English only, even with other Spanish-speaking residents at the home, while on nursing home grounds, and during breaks. However, that rule was not enforced ... Read More