While most people would like to think that they have the ability to remain at a job as long as they like and leave whenever something better comes along, this is actually not the reality for many. Though some people have agreements with their employer that provide them some protections from termination, the presumption is that employment is "at-will."
It seems surprising in an era where people are living longer, healthier lives and working well into their late sixties and seventies that age discrimination would remain a problem, especially for 40 year olds. But, it is.
Whether you're a business owner or an employee here in California, it's important to have at least a general understanding of business and employment law. That's because having a familiarity with the law can help you recognize situations in which a person or business may be violating the law. More importantly, it will help prevent you or your business from violating the law.
As Lenora Lapidus, director of Women's Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, said it best, "pregnant women should never have to choose between their job and their pregnancy." As you may know, this was one of the very things that the addition of pregnancy discrimination to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was supposed to put an end to. But as the case of Young v. United Parcel Service illustrates, such a decision is still facing women across the nation, even though legislation has been in place since 1978 to prevent it.
When news first broke four years ago on the suspension of a Fox News broadcaster for using the N-word during a staff meeting, there were immediately two opposing sides to the issue:
The law has always presented a unique challenge for businesses across the nation. Not only are they bound by federal laws but those of the states in which they operate their business as well. But owners and managers not only want to make sure that they are following the law but that their employees are as well. Oftentimes, this requires discussions with a skilled attorney who is able to explain the laws at hand and when a violation has occurred.
Since the introduction of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Americans enjoy a lot more protections in the workplace -- more specifically, protection from discrimination based on age, sex, race, skin color and national origin. But even with this federal law in place, some employers and employees still participate in discriminatory behavior that can open companies up to civil lawsuits later on.