Worker advocacy groups in New York and around the country have often accused Amazon of treating its warehouse and distribution workers harshly and forcing them to meet strict productivity requirements, but the Seattle-based retailer has rarely faced allegations of racial, sexual or religious discrimination. That changed on May 8 when a complaint was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that claims Amazon treats black Muslim workers from Somalia and East Africa unfairly.
Workers in New York and throughout the country can file discrimination claims based on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will investigate claims based on Title II of that act. However, not many people understand that they can contact the EEOC about a genetic information discrimination concern. In 2018, it received only 220 such complaints, which was .3 percent of all claims that it received that year.
For LGBT workers in New York, the news that the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up several cases on workplace discrimination could be an opportunity or a threat. While many states and municipalities provide protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the interpretation of federal civil rights law is an ongoing battle. The protections that LGBT workers rely upon in many areas hang in the balance.
The gender pay gap has declined since 1980, but women still lag behind men in income. New Yorkers may be interested to learn about a 2018 Pew Research Center study that found that women earned 85 percent of what men earned. A different study in 2017 by the Census Bureau put that figure at 80 percent. In 1980, women earned around 36 cents less than men per hour.
Texas residents may be interested in learning about the challenges some diverse writers are facing when writing for television. According to one study, 64 percent of diverse writers say that they had experienced some type of bias, discrimination, or harassment in the workplace. Fifty-eight percent said that they have experienced micro-aggression when in the writing room. The same number of individuals experienced push back when they would pitch stories with diverse characters in non-stereotypical roles.
Many workers in New York have probably overhead inappropriate comments about people of the opposite sex but felt unable to do anything about it. A survey conducted by Ranstad US of 1,227 workers found that half of respondents failed to speak up after someone directed an inappropriate comment at a colleague. Most people did not know what they could personally do to improve gender equality at work.
New York State passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) on February 24, 2019. It bans discrimination in the workplace based on a person's gender identity or expression of a preferred gender. A gender identity consists of an individual's real or perceived gender, including the individual's physical appearance, expressions or general behavior. GENDA protects transgenders and others who do not identify with their birth genders.
Female workers in New York and throughout the country are covered by a variety of laws as it relates to being pregnant or a working mother. Applicable legislation includes the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, it is not uncommon for mothers to face discrimination in the workplace. In one instance, a woman was awarded $1.5 million after she claimed that it wasn't possible to pump milk at work.
A lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Labor could have wide-ranging effects for employers in New York and around the country. The lawsuit targets the tech giant Oracle, and it alleges that over the past four years the company has cost workers more than $400 million in lost wages through discrimination.
The New York state legislature approved a bill called the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. It would ban employer discrimination based on gender identity or expression, and the governor of the state is expected to sign it into law. The law seeks to provide greater protections for transgender individuals and others who don't conform to gender norms. If the law does pass, New York would become at least the 22nd state to offer such protection.