No one should feel unsafe or unwelcome in the workplace. Sadly, though, many workers in California face hostile work environments every day. Some are subjected to sexual harassment while others face discrimination. The harm caused by these workplaces can be dramatic, too. Individuals can end up seeing their hours reduced, their opportunities for advancement disappear and sometimes their jobs lost. Also, they are often humiliated and embarrassed. This is unacceptable, which is why there are laws that protect workers who have been subjected to this type of treatment.
Recently, a number of individuals filed a claim indicating that they have faced discrimination through Macy’s employment practices. The lawsuit, which is seeking class status, was filed by The Fortune Society Inc., a nonprofit. The claim specifically indicates that the company discriminates against blacks and Latinos by firing or refusing to hire people with criminal backgrounds, even if convictions are old or irrelevant to the position in question. The lawsuit goes on to claim that blacks and Latinos are disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system, and that relying on it to make employment decisions violates several federally recognized protections.
The claim also alleges that Macy’s has failed to abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act by not providing applicants with a copy of their background checks, which would allow current and potential employees to provide an explanation. Macy’s, of course, disputes all of the claims made, indicating that a majority of its workforce in made up of minorities.
Employment law issues like these are not uncommon. While many deal with more clearly delineated wrongs, the fact remains that all types of discrimination and harassment are harmful. This is why workers need to hold their employers accountable for their wrongdoings. Only then can they truly effectuate change in their workplaces.