Category: Discrimination

How Should Companies Terminate Remote Employees During a Pandemic?

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Before the arrival of COVID-19, more than 50 percent of employees in the United States had a job that could have been done remotely, yet less than four percent of them primarily worked from home, according to Global Workplace Analytics. Faced with lockdown mandates in March 2020, all types of businesses ordered employees to work remotely.

As a consequence, managers must now navigate the process of having to fire or lay off employees who are working from home. There are additional legal considerations when termination is not handled in person. Learning best practices for terminating remote employees during a pandemic can help employers avoid legal pitfalls and manage the process more smoothly.

General Legal Considerations

Firing or laying off a worker signals the termination of the employer-employee relationship. Whether or not the employee had a written employee contract, the employer should always document the separation with a written termination letter, prepared in advance. Wording is important, as it could be used as evidence in litigation should the termination be contested.

Although employment is generally considered at-will, employers must ensure that they are not violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act or any other state or federal laws against discrimination when terminating a worker. Other legal matters to consider include the following:

  • Personnel file. Review documentation of all conduct and any attempts at remediation.
  • Determine what compensation is owed to the employee and whether they will be eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • Incidents that may suggest retaliation. If the employee filed a Workers’ Compensation claim or complained about questionable company practices, they may have grounds for claiming the termination is an act of retaliation.

Employers must take time to weigh these factors before termination. When in doubt, the company should consult an employment lawyer before firing or laying off an employee.

Special Considerations for Terminating Remote Employees

Terminating a remote employee requires additional planning, as the following questions will need to be addressed:

  • How will access to remote equipment and online accounts be removed? It is critical to coordinate closely with the IT department to schedule the exact time for removing a terminated employee’s online access to email and other licensed software, and to collect hardware if needed.
  • Who will communicate the decision? The employee’s direct supervisor is usually the best spokesperson to communicate the termination in person, along with a representative from human resources (HR). However, sending a Zoom meeting invitation that includes HR may give the employee advanced warning, which may undermine secure removal of access to company online resources.
  • How will the decision be communicated to other remote colleagues? Direct managers should deliver the news to their team members. It is best to keep others on mute during a group Zoom meeting.
  • How should the hardcopy termination letter be delivered? The termination letter should be sent overnight, requiring signature on delivery, to arrive the day after the news is verbally communicated to the employee via virtual means.

Managers are less able to get a true sense of the person’s reaction to termination when it happens remotely. For this reason, organizations may want to monitor public comments made by former employees after remote termination in case there is a need to respond to negative publicity.

Will Businesses Continue to Use More Remote Workers?

Global Workplace Analytics predicts that at least 25 percent of U.S workers will still be doing their jobs remotely by the end of 2021. Reasons for this change include the following:

  • Since the pandemic, managers and executives have learned to trust that remote workers are actually doing their jobs at home.
  • Cost savings. Businesses are reducing overhead by allowing employees to work from home.
  • Climate benefits. Many people noticed a reduction in traffic and air pollution in April 2020, marking another shift in an increasing awareness that working from home supports sustainability of the planet.

With a greater percentage of employees working from home, the act of terminating employees remotely instead of in-person is likely to become more commonplace. Preparing for this change can make the transition easier.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Offer Clear Guidance on Complex Legal Issues

Terminating employees who work remotely adds another layer of complexity to managing a workforce. Although planning ahead can help managers avoid most legal risks, questions may still arise. If you are facing a complex legal matter, the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. are available to review your situation and provide sound guidance to help you make better business decisions. Do not hesitate to contact us online or call 215-574-0600 to arrange an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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Recent Study Reveals Extent of Sexual Harassment in Workplace Culture

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A recent survey of 2,120 legal professionals indicated that sexual harassment continues to be a serious problem in the workplace. The study, released by Women Lawyers on Guard, was reviewed in a July 2020 article published in the ABA Journal. The study focused on the effects of sexual harassment, as well as how sexual harassment in the workplace has evolved during the past 30 years. The study concluded that sexual harassment is deeply embedded in workplace culture, and only by changing that culture can progress be achieved.

Survey respondents were asked to characterize sexual harassment incidents in the workplace they experienced in the past 30 years. During that time, the study found a decrease in the percentage of sexual assaults and incidents of threats or bribes in exchange for sexual favors. However, incidents of sexually offensive jokes, sexualized name-calling, and rating women have increased. More than one-third of the incidents today occur in off-site business meetings or at the office, and about one in four occur in private.

Effects of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment continues to have negative effects on victims and the workplace environment overall. More than 60 percent of survey respondents reported experiencing anxiety about their careers or workplaces due to sexual harassment. More than one-third believed that the incidents caused a loss in their productivity, and more than one-fourth reported having a negative impact on their careers. Fear of retaliation for reporting sexual harassment was widespread, with 40 percent of respondents replying that this was a concern.

Putting a Stop to Sexual Harassment

It has been more than 55 years since Title VII of the Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination on the basis of sex. Since that time, most corporations have instituted policies against sexual harassment, requiring employees to attend training courses explaining those policies. Yet, the problem still exists. The Woman Lawyers on Guard study points to several reasons why existing approaches are not working, including the following:

  • Sexual harassment is treated as a compliance issue rather than a workplace culture issue;
  • Sexual harassment is about power; and
  • Unequal power dynamics in corporate structures foster a workplace culture of sexual harassment.

The study suggests that addressing the underlying power imbalance at work must happen first to combat the problem of sexual harassment. Change starts at the top because workplace culture is shaped by the worst behavior the CEO is willing to tolerate, according to the study.

What Steps Can Organizations Take?

The following are steps organizations can take to begin identifying and addressing cultural issues that allow harassment to continue:

  • Gather baseline data about the workplace. This includes identifying the demographics of those in power and surveying employees using a confidential, anonymous reporting tools.
  • Offer meaningful training. Instead of just showing a video once a year, organizations may consider holding group sessions on topics, such as how bystanders can intervene and stop inappropriate behavior.
  • Consider a no-tolerance policy. Rather than let high-performing employees continually get away with inappropriate behavior, organizations should make it clear that all employees must be respectful no matter how much revenue they bring in.

Any type of sexual harassment in the workplace is counterproductive, whether it meets the legal definition of discrimination or creates a hostile work environment. Changing workplace culture is a long process but a necessary one if companies are to move toward positive change.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Respond to Legal Challenges with Experience and Skill

Sexual harassment in the workplace can damage individual productivity and derail careers. The Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. are familiar with complex legal challenges in cases involving sexual harassment and discrimination. We approach these matters with skill and experience. If you have questions or concerns about sexual harassment in the workplace, discrimination, or any other matter of employment law, call us at 215-574-0600 or fill out our online form. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

What Should Employers Know About Hiring Seasonal Workers?

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Many employers rely on seasonal labor to meet fluctuations in business activity. In the summer, industry sectors hiring seasonal workers include hospitality, landscaping, agriculture, travel, and recreation. Employers with seasonal workers can help ensure legal compliance by understanding the ways in which the temporary nature of seasonal employment impacts the employer-employee relationship.

How Does the Employer-Employee Relationship Change?

When a business hires an individual for seasonal work, the expectations of both employer and employee change in several ways. First and foremost, the employer approaches the employment agreement with the understanding that the demand for work is temporary. Whether it is a 12-week summer camp or a field of crops to be harvested, when the work or time period is complete, the seasonal worker will be terminated.

Aspects of traditional permanent employment, including promotions, raises, and building a career path are typically not part of the expectations of employers or employees. Ideally, the seasonal employee understands this as well. Employers should be clear when explaining to workers the nature of their work and when they can expect it to end. Setting false expectations regarding raises or permanent positions can lead to problems.

What Employer Responsibilities Remain the Same Regarding Seasonal Workers?

Most employment laws that protect the rights of permanent employees also apply to seasonal workers. The following employer responsibilities remain the same regarding seasonal workers:

  • Providing a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) requires employers to provide hazard-free workplaces that are free of known dangers that could harm their employees.
  • Classifying workers appropriately. Employers may be tempted to misclassify temporary workers as independent contractors to avoid paying payroll taxes; doing so may violate standards set by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Paying overtime. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must pay time-and-a-half for any hours worked in excess of 40 in a given workweek.
  • Protecting workers from discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as state laws in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also protects workers with disabilities.
  • Providing health care. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers to provide health care benefits to employees working more than 30 hours per week for more than 120 days.

There are certain exceptions for agriculture and family-owned businesses. The Department of Labor offers guidance to employers of seasonal workers regarding overtime pay, meal breaks, youth employment, and hazardous occupations.

Special Considerations for Agricultural Workers During the Pandemic

The spread of COVID-19 raises additional concerns for employers of seasonal farm labor. To help protect the health of agricultural workers, the state of New Jersey issued the following guidelines:

  • Workplace and housing safety: Workers must wear employer-provided face masks at all times in the presence of others.
  • Social distancing during work time:Employers need to promote social distancing and offer staggered shifts.
  • Sanitation:Employers are to disinfect high-touch areas.

Additionally, employers must screen workers for COVID-19 symptoms prior to work shifts. Workers exhibiting symptoms must be separated from other workers and be seen by a physician.

Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. are Employment Attorneys in Philadelphia That Offer Experienced Counsel Regarding Employment Issues

The relationship between employers and employees is subject to a myriad of state and federal laws. Seasonal workers are covered by most of these laws, even though they are temporary employees. Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. are employment attorneys in Philadelphia that help businesses and workers navigate the legal landscape of employment law. Contact us online or call us at 215-574-0600 for an initial consultation today. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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U.S. Supreme Court Shields Religious Schools from Discrimination Lawsuits

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On July 8, 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled that courts cannot intervene in employment disputes involving teachers at religious schools if those teachers have been entrusted to deliver religious instruction. The ruling has broad implications, potentially stripping away employment law protections from more than 300,000 teachers working at religious schools across the country. It may also impact other employees at Catholic hospitals, camps, and other religious workplaces.

The court reviewed two cases involving job bias claims filed by two Catholic schoolteachers in California. In Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, the plaintiff alleged age discrimination bias because she was told days before her 65th birthday that her contract would not be renewed. In St. James School v. Biel, the teacher was terminated after she requested time off for surgery and chemotherapy treatment. Biel subsequently died of cancer, and her husband continued with the litigation on her behalf.

In writing the majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito stated that the First Amendment protects the rights of religious institutions to decide for themselves, free from state interference and matters of church government, as well as those of faith and doctrine. The religion clauses in the First Amendment provide that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Alito referred back to a 2012 Supreme Court decision in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, where the Court ruled that teachers holding the title of minister could not sue for job bias. This ministerial exception bars employees from suing their religious school employers for discrimination.

Justice Alito stated that even though the Catholic schoolteachers in this case did not have the title of minister, their job functions were essentially the same because they were entrusted with providing religious instruction at least part of the week and prayed with the children. Prior to this case reaching the Supreme Court, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco allowed the lawsuits after ruling that the teachers were secular, rather than religious, employees.

In a dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted that both teachers primarily taught secular subjects and were not required to be Catholic. Justice Sotomayor was joined in her dissent by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Implications for Future Employment Discrimination Cases

The ruling represents a win for Evangelical religious schools, as well as Catholic institutions. At the same time, it is a major setback for the LGBTQ community whose members gained protections against employment discrimination in a recent Supreme Court ruling. There are numerous state and federal laws protecting individuals from employment discrimination, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities in Employment Act. These laws and others make it illegal for employers to treat workers unfairly simply because of their race, national origin, sex, religion, age, or disability. Regarding the cases of the two Catholic schoolteachers in California, there was evidence that age and disability discrimination occurred; however, that evidence was not in dispute. The issue was the constitutionality of applying employment law to religious institutions.

In her dissent, Justice Sotomayor noted that, with this ruling, so long as the employer determines that an employee’s duties are vital to carrying out the mission of the church, the employer can make employment decisions based on a person’s skin color, age, disability, sex, or any other protected trait for reasons having nothing to do with religion, permitting religious entities to discriminate widely and with impunity for reasons wholly unconnected to religious beliefs.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Clients with Complex Legal Challenges

The recent Supreme Court ruling confirms that the field of employment law is continually being revised. In matters of discrimination, the employer-employee relationship can be extraordinarily complex. Our Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. can help with your employment matter. To arrange an initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-574-0600. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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Landmark Supreme Court Ruling Prohibits Discrimination Against LGBTQ Workers

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Discrimination LGBTQ

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling declaring that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 unequivocally applies to homosexual and transgender workers. Although about half of the states in the U.S. have laws protecting the rights of LGBTQ citizens in the workplace, this historic decision clarifies that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited nationwide. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers against discrimination during any phase of the employment process, including recruiting, hiring, training, assigning tasks, compensation, promotion, and firing.

According to the Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law, more than eight million Americans in the workforce identity as LGBTQ, and nearly four million of them live in states that lack laws to protect them from workplace discrimination.

In writing the 6-3 opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch noted that sex plays a necessary role in the decision, which is exactly what Title VII forbids. In Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congress outlawed discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Cases Considered by the Court

 The Supreme Court ruling considered several cases brought to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit where employers admitted to firing employees because they were homosexual or transgender. These cases included:

  • Bostock v. Clayton, County, Georgia: Gerald Bostock worked as a child welfare advocate. Under his leadership, the county won national awards for its accomplishments. After Mr. Bostock began participating in a gay recreational softball league, he was fired for conduct “unbecoming” to a county employee.
  • Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda: Donald Zarda was employed by Altitude Express for several seasons as a skydiving instructor. He was fired several days after mentioning at work that he was gay.
  • G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Aimee Stephens worked at Harris Funeral Homes Inc. in Michigan. While undergoing treatment for depression, he was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and began exploring the prospect of transitioning. After six years of service with the funeral home, Stephens wrote a letter to management explaining that she planned to live and work full-time as a woman. She was subsequently fired.

Each employee filed a lawsuit alleging unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex under Title VII. The employers in each of these cases did not attempt to deny that they fired these employees for being gay or transgender. Rather, they contended that Title VII does not apply to discrimination on the basis of being homosexual or transgender. Also, the employers argued that the legislators who drafted Title VII would not have expected the law to prohibit discrimination against homosexual or transgender persons.

In response, Justice Gorsuch wrote that while those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result, Title VII has been expanded in the past to protect the rights of pregnant employees or men subjected to harassment at work. Therefore, Title VII can be interpreted so as to protect the rights of LGBTQ employees.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Defend the Rights of LGBTQ Workers

The Supreme Court has made it illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ employees in the workplace. If you or someone you know endured discrimination at work during any phase of employment, contact the experienced Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. We will defend your rights to the fullest extent of the law. Call us at 215-574-0600 or fill out our contact form to schedule an initial consultation. We represent workers throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey from our Philadelphia office.

Philadelphia Employers Banned from Requesting Salary History from Applicants

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According to a recent federal appeals court ruling, employers in Philadelphia may no longer request salary history information from job applicants. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit partially reversed a lower court’s 2018 decision that allowed employers to ask about salary history but prohibited them from using the information to determine an employee’s new salary.

In 2017, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce sued the city, arguing that the Philadelphia law violated the employer’s First Amendment rights. Mayor Jim Kenney, and others who supported the law, said that the practice of requesting a salary history perpetuates the cycle of discrimination resulting in women with lower salaries than men. In fact, studies show that women make only 80 cents for every dollar that a man earns, despite the fact that women make up close to 50 percent of the workforce and are the sole or co-breadwinner in half of families in this country who have children. For women of color, this gap is even higher. They are hopeful that this recent ruling will put an end to that cycle.

Law Expected to be Enforced Soon

It is unclear when city officials will begin enforcing the new law, but it will likely be soon, as they have been given the green light to do so. The law will be enforced by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, and employers who violate the law may face steep fines and litigation. The Chamber of Commerce claims that the law makes it more difficult for companies to determine what a competitive salary offer should be, particularly in such a tight labor market. Although the Chamber can petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision, it is unlikely that it will be overturned.

According to the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, Philadelphia has implemented a number of work-protection legislation in recent years. This latest law is about equality and protecting people’s rights. People have argued that the law will not solve the problem of wage inequality, said a former city councilman, but there is no way to know that unless the law is given a chance.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Assist Clients with Employment Issues

 If a prospective employer requested to see your salary history during the interview process, this is a violation of your rights. The Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. have a proven track record in reaching successful outcomes for clients who have a range of employment issues, including those related to fair compensation. To schedule an initial consultation, call us today at 215-574-0600 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Coronavirus Outbreak Causes Major Employment Issues in the U.S.

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As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, companies have closed, workers are required to stay home, and travel has been restricted. In addition to the obvious health concerns, COVID-19 is having a major impact on the U.S. economy. As the outbreak continues to impact companies in the U.S. and worldwide, legal experts are urging companies to review their legal contracts, employment agreements, and handbooks to ensure that they are protected from breaches in cybersecurity and other negative exposure.

U.S. companies conduct a significant amount of business with manufacturers in China. However, the outbreak has disrupted the supply chain, causing significant delays in the delivery of contracted goods. U.S companies that are awaiting goods from China should review their business contracts to determine what their rights are if their goods are delivered late, or not at all. However, despite what the contracts say, Chinese suppliers may obtain a force majeure certificate, which exempts exporters from fulfilling contractual agreements with overseas buyers as a result of the pandemic.

Impact of Coronavirus on U.S. Employers

President Trump signed an executive order suspending entry into the United States of all foreign nationals who were in China within 14 days of arriving in the U.S. Immediate family members of U.S. citizens are exempt from the order. Those not exempt are subject to a two-week mandatory quarantine upon their arrival in the U.S. It is unlikely that travelers who contract the virus will receive employment protection, unless they were traveling for business or were subjected to a mandatory quarantine. If this is the case, the U.S. company would be required to continue paying the affected individual.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and coughing. If a worker shows any of these signs, and was in an area with confirmed cases of the virus, the employer should immediately contact the communicable disease section of the state department of health. It is imperative that the worker be tested to confirm whether he or she has the coronavirus.

Workers who are returning from China may have be asymptomatic. Employers should consider requesting that the employer remain home for 10 to 14 days until the incubation period has passed. However, if the worker alleges that he or she was forced to stay home, he or she may allege that it was due to a perceived disability, which would be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. If the decision was based on the worker’s travel history, it is unlikely that the employee will be able to defend their claim.

Employers can avoid liability and claims of discrimination by focusing on their travel history, as opposed to their national origin, and paying their workers so they do not suffer damages from missed days of work due to the virus. Employers should try to be accommodating to employees who were quarantined and are reintegrating into the workforce.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Assist Employers with Employment Issues Related to the Coronavirus

If you have concerns about how the COVID-19 will impact employment law, the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. can assist you with these matters. To schedule an initial consultation, call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Employers Cannot Use Salary History to Justify Lower Pay for Women

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard a case from Fresno County, California regarding lower pay for women during an en banc session. The Court concluded in February 2020 that lower pay for women cannot be justified based on their previous pay.

How May Employers Determine Employee Pay?

Under the Equal Pay Act, employers are only allowed to determine employee pay based on four factors:

  • An established seniority system
  • An established merit system
  • A system that measures salary based on quantity or quality
  • Any factor other than sex

Fresno County Schools had a seniority system and a merit system. However, the Court determined the county applied that system improperly under the Equal Pay Act.

What was the Decision?

The Ninth Circuit Court determined that previous pay from a different job cannot fall under the last catch-all “factor other than sex” because the factor’s must be job-related. The case involved a math consultant with the school system who inadvertently discovered she was making less than her male colleagues. The school system used her previous salary, added five percent, and placed her on the corresponding section of the pay scale. She received an extra $600 for her master’s degree, but her salary was calculated based on an entirely different job.

How Does the Ruling Apply to Your Business?

The Ninth Circuit Court noted that other federal courts have come to inconsistent rulings. Regardless, this case has value wherever your employer is located. As a result, employers must be careful that if there is any pay discrepancy between employees, it’s based on job-related reasons.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Represent Employers and Employees Concerned About Equal Pay

Our Philadelphia business and employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. will work with you on any equal pay case. Contact us online or call us at 215-574-0600 for an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey.

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Google Employees Win the Right to Sue

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Since last November, Google employees have been pressuring the company to end its mandatory arbitration policy, which requires workers to take any legal dispute they have with the company to arbitration. Because there is no judge or jury, and very little government oversight, workers are less likely to win their cases. If they do, their compensation is much less than what they would have gotten if they had the opportunity to go to court. Earlier this month, Google changed its policy and will end mandatory arbitration, effective March 21. This expands a previous decision to only end mandatory arbitration in sexual assault or harassment cases. This is a significant win for Google employees.

Prior to this policy change, new employees were required to sign arbitration agreements when they were hired. Many companies in the United States require new employees to sign these agreements, which means that they cannot sue their boss if they are the victim of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, overtime violations, and job discrimination. When Google’s CEO ended the forced arbitration for sexual harassment and sexual assault, employees were encouraged, but they wanted the company to end forced arbitration for all types of disputes. In addition, they wanted the policy to extend to contractors and temporary workers as they make up over half of the company’s workforce.

Employees Fight for Wider Policy Changes

In a statement published by a group of Google employees, the group credited the company for changing the policy and allowing workers to access their civil rights through the public court system. However, they were disappointed that the policy does not require contract companies that provide Google with workers to follow the same policy. The group went on the say that they will continue to fight until forced arbitration is eliminated for all workers. Tech workers have gained influence recently and are using it to ensure that workers have a voice and are no longer silenced by unfair policies.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Offer Skilled Legal Counsel for Arbitration Issues

If your employer has a mandatory arbitration policy, contact the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. at your earliest convenience. We have a proven track record of reaching successful settlements in a wide range of cases, including those involving mandatory arbitration policies. Protecting your rights is our top priority. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us today at 215-574-0600 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Riot Games Settles in Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

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League of Legends developer, Riot Games, will have to pay over $10 million to settle a class action lawsuit that was filed on behalf of approximately 1,000 women who worked for the company over the past five years. According to court documents, the plaintiffs alleged that the company established a clear pattern of discrimination and sexual harassment. In addition, female employees claimed that they did not receive equal compensation compared to their male counterparts. This was a violation of the California Equal Pay Act—many states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey have a similar law.

According to the terms of the settlement, each of the roughly 1,000 women who worked at Riot Games over the past five years is eligible to receive a portion of the settlement. The exact amount that each woman will receive depends on seniority, how long they worked at the company, and employment status, but most members of the class-action lawsuit will receive a minimum of $5,000. Full-time employees will receive more settlement money than part-time workers or contractors.

Investigation Reveals Sexist Culture

An investigation into the culture at Riot Games revealed a sexist environment where women were frequently exposed to “crotch grabbing,” “phantom humping,” and hot girl lists. Two women who initially sued Riot Games alleged that there were several women who did not receive equal pay, and who felt that their careers were being stifled by male employees. Several female employees alleged that they received pictures of the male genitalia. The lawsuit also accused the company of denying promotions to deserving female employees because they spoke out against the company’s male culture. In some cases, they were demoted or their benefits were withheld.

After Riot Games filed a motion to force plaintiffs into arbitration, over 150 employees walked out of the office to protest the motion. According to a Riot Games spokesperson, the company looks forward to resolving the lawsuit, and plans to demonstrate their commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all employees. However, several employees commented that the company’s efforts were overshadowed by the harmful workplace behavior and an ongoing pattern of filling senior positions with male employees.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Represent Victims of Gender Discrimination

If you were discriminated against by your employer or another co-worker because of your gender, you are urged to contact the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. at your earliest convenience. Employment discrimination laws prohibit employers from harassing employers based on gender, and from retaliating against an employee for reporting discriminatory behavior. Our experienced legal team will ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a confidential consultation with one of our highly skilled employment lawyers, call us today at 215-574-0600 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.