Houston Employment Law Blog

Are experience caps discriminatory?

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for people with several years of experience to find jobs. If you have ever been a job seeker with a few grey hairs, you have probably felt at least a bit of the sting that comes with being turned away for your age.

Age discrimination when applying for a position is still discrimination and very much illegal – employers have found a new way to try to circumvent this, however. Some job posting are now stating a “maximum” amount of experience applicants may have.

Disabled workers face struggles remaining employed

People in Texas and throughout the country who have disabilities generally need extra help to live and work. However, disclosing their disabilities may make it harder to find a job. The Americans With Disabilities Act is designed to help such individuals remain competitive in the job market. This doesn't mean that employers necessarily understand or comply with it. Those who have mental conditions also tend to feel as if companies only take steps to help those with physical disabilities.

To help both workers and employers learn more about their rights and responsibilities, October is designated as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Efforts are undertaken on the federal level as well as in some states to help create a more inclusive workplace. Generally speaking, companies tend to be more successful when they create a diverse workforce that includes people with mental and physical disabilities.

Disability discrimination suit against Walmart filed in Houston

Walmart discriminated against a job applicant by assuming her disability would prevent her from working, according to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. The complaint against Wal-mart Stores Texas, LLC says that the female applicant is a congenital amputee who was turned down for a job at Walmart based on an assumption that she could not perform job duties, even though she was working at another retailer at the time.

According to the EEOC, Walmart violated the Americans with Disabilities Act in refusing to refer the woman for hiring. The lawsuit was filed after the EEOC first tried to reach a settlement with Walmart through conciliation. The EEOC is seeking back pay and damages as well as a job at Walmart for the plaintiff. Furthermore, the agency is seeking a permanent injunction against Wal-mart Stores Texas, LLC to prohibit the company from future discriminatory action against disabled workers or job applicants who are qualified for work.

Spotify sued for gender discrimination

A female executive at Spotify is suing the music streaming company for discriminating against employees of the opposite gender. Hong Perez’s accusations include systematic discrimination against female employees and sexual harassment. The sales executive also claims that the Swedish company is paying women less than their male counterparts.

Coca-Cola pays $2.25 million to settle ADA lawsuit

Coca-Cola bottles beverages that are popular with Houston residents. It employs thousands of people across the country, and it has faced persistent problems with discrimination against workers with disabilities. The company settled with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in August, pledging to pay $2.25 million to resolve nine different disability discrimination cases relating to its failure to accommodate disabled workers. In addition, the company also agreed to update its procedures and policies for accommodations.

The allegedly discriminatory policies of Coca-Cola are not unique to the soda manufacturer. The EEOC has been particularly concerned about policies that require employees to be "100 percent healed" in order to return to their jobs from medical leave. The agency says that these policies violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires that employers provide necessary accommodations so that employees can work. These types of reasonable accommodations include exemptions from policies, removal of extraneous functions or reassignment to other duties.

Employee benefit plans and disability: 3 things to know

You’re a high-powered professional who is used to handling all sorts of sophisticated tasks with focus, efficiency and purpose. But if your employer doesn’t fulfill its commitments regarding benefits that are supposed to go with your job, it can really put you in a tough spot.

For example, what if you develop a disabling condition and your employer or its insurance company doesn’t pay out on your disability insurance?

New workplace study puts sex harassment at top of list

Increased awareness and social movements have shed light on workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation. It’s true that younger generations, such as the Millennial generation, are more likely to report harassment. Employers are taking proactive steps to prevent these incidents. However, according to the 2018 Hiscox Workplace Harassment Study, more than one-third of U.S. employees report they have experienced workplace harassment.

EEOC takes interest in age discrimination cases

Older workers in Texas may be concerned that they are not receiving a fair shake when it comes to job hunting, negotiating pay or seeking a promotion. Even 51 years after the Age Discrimination in Employment Act passed, workers over the age of 40 continue to face discrimination on the job. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has shown that it is interested in zealously pursuing these cases, and the agency recently settled one case with restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse for $12 million.

There is a number of reasons why the EEOC is actively working to reduce age discrimination in the workplace. First, complaints about the practice have remained substantial and are even growing. In one survey conducted by AARP, three-fifths of workers age 45 or older reported personally suffering from age discrimination or witnessing others being discriminated against. This behavior continues despite the fact that age discrimination has been illegal for over half a century. In addition, stereotypes about older workers are common, and individuals can be dismissed for their age despite their technical knowledge, skills, innovation or experience.

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Warren & Siurek, L.L.P.
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Houston, TX 77098

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