There may be many reasons for an employer to terminate an employee. Many times this is a legitimate action based upon some form of misconduct. However, when there is no reason given for the termination it opens the company up for scrutiny and legal experts such as Tayeb Hyderally may begin to question the ultimate reasons for the actions. Many times as in the case with Mr. Velez, there is reason to believe that there discriminatory practices had occurred on the part of the company. Experts in employment law may have a relatively easy case when the company either does not have proper procedures in place; or does not follow them. Puerto Rican employer, Thermo King de Puerto Rico, Inc learned this the hard way. Continue Reading
Workplace discrimination can take many different forms which is why attorneys such as Ty Hyderally spend their time educating both employees and employers about their rights and responsibilities. The hope is that discriminatory actions can be non-existent in the workplace. When employers or employees do not abide by guidelines as they are set forth in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, then Mr. Hyderally litigates on behalf of those whose rights were violated. One of the latest changes to laws which prohibit discrimination has been the addition of pregnancy. Just last year the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Thompson v. North American Stainless set the precedent for cases where discriminatory actions were followed by retaliation. This case was used to help decide the case against the Oklahoma based childcare company, Kids R Us.
Shawna Capps began working for Kids R Us in July of 2009. In March of 2010 she informed the company’s owners that she was pregnant. Later that same month, the owners of the company had a meeting in which Capps was informed that they were hiring another administrator at the facility and that show would be demoted from the assistant facility director which was a full time position, to a cook position which was only part time. They cited the reason as Capps had “decided to get pregnant.” In response, Capps files a discrimination complaint with the EEOC. Capps had two relatives who worked at the same facility and they protested the owner’s actions and stated them as discriminatory. Right after Ms. Capps filed the suit with the EEOC, the company transferred Ms. Capps to another facility which was located further from her home which in effect forced her resignation. Immediately following this, the company terminated both of her relatives without explanation according to the EEOC’s report.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 so that pregnancy discrimination is punished along with other types of discriminatory actions. The EEOC filed suit and asked for compensatory and punitive damages, back pay and front pay for all three victims. The case was heard in a federal court in Oklahoma. Recently, this case reached a settlement. The child care company must provide its employees training concerning anti-discrimination and revise its current policies with regard to discrimination in the workplace. Kids R Us also agreed to a monetary payment of $75,000 to the victims.
Employee law includes protection against pregnancy discrimination as well as wrongful retaliation such as we see in cases like this. Hopefully, these types of decisions will continue to ensure that employers will be held accountable for discriminatory and retaliatory conduct such as was displayed in this case. Employees should not be concerned about the possibility of being discriminated against in the workplace simply because they became pregnant. It is also a reminder that retaliatory actions which are in response to reported discrimination also bear a penalty. The EEOC is the agency which is responsible for enforcing federal employment discrimination laws.
Racial discrimination is never satisfactory behavior on any scale, but especially on the job. This is only one area of NJ employment law that Ty Hyderally deals with on a regular basis. He chose the vast field of employment law partly because he was intrigued by the many facets. He has worked for many years to ensure that employers and employees are aware of both their rights and responsibilities as they pertain to employment law NY. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed suit on the company Pepsi Beverages due to an alleged infraction that occurred in some of the ways their employment policies were carried out.
As part of their hiring procedures, Pepsi required a background check. Applicants who had previously been arrested but their prosecution was pending were disqualified for permanent employment even though they had not been convicted of any type of crime or offense. This policy adversely affected over 300 African American applicants. Policies created by Pepsi also denied the opportunity of employment to many who had been convicted or even arrested of some types of minor offenses. But under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, if this is not relevant to the position it can be illegal. It is considered illegal because it can reduce the employability of some applicants based on race or ethnicity.
Perhaps the intent of the policy was not to violate any employment laws with regard to discrimination but inadvertently many African Americans were denied employment unfairly. While the EEOC was conducting their investigation, Pepsi rewrote and adopted new guidelines pertaining to criminal background checks. The bottling company will begin to offer employment to those who were victims of their previous policies; as long as they do qualify for the positions and jobs for which they had applied. The company will also follow up in this case by submitting regular reports to the EEOC regarding their practices in hiring. And the company will make sure that all managers attend Title VII training and in-service.
The case that EEOC filed against Pepsi did not have to go all the way to trial. Pepsi Beverages was able to reach a settlement agreement with the EEOC. Not only will they make the stated modification to their hiring procedures and training process, they will also pay $3.13 million. The position that Pepsi’s hiring procedures got them into is an example of how a policy can inadvertently affect certain classes of people. Policies that are not intended to be discriminatory can still be in violation of some of the anti-discrimination laws. This type of disparate impact can end up with the company liable for discriminatory actions even though the intent was not there. It serves as a reminder to businesses and companies to reexamine policies and procedures to ensure that they are not discriminatory in any fashion directly or indirectly. Companies can rely on expert lawyers such as Tayeb Hyderally to help ensure policies are correctly written and carried out to avoid cases such as these.
The law is becoming clearer on what exactly constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace. Legal experts such as Ty Hyderally have been successfully litigating cases which set new precedents in the legal world. This class action suit which was filed against the Mitsubishi Corporation is an example of successful litigation. This is a case wherein sexual harassment in the workplace got totally out of hand and became a sexually hostile environment.
A class action law suit was filed against Mitsubishi Motors Corp by the United States Equal Employment Opportunities Commission on April 9, 1996. The suit contained over 300 claims by women who worked at the Normal, Illinois Mitsubishi plant. Their claims were that they had been subjected to repeated sexual harassment in the workplace which began as early as 1988. The EEOC alleged that managers had been involved in passing around pornographic photographs of male workers displaying sexual acts, male workers who had exposed themselves, obscene graffiti and assaults (both physical and verbal) against women who worked at the plant. The second part of the class action suit stated that the management and Employee Relations Department failed to respond adequately. Many times there was no response at all to the complaints filed by women who had filed regarding the harassment. EEOC pursued the case to stop the harassment and also to obtain some compensation for the women who had been harassed.
Mitsubishi tried to argue that there were time constraints on some of the older cases and therefore they were not eligible to be included in the class action law suit. However, the court rejected the argument stating that there is not a statute of limitations and that EEOC did not unduly delay their actions.
On June 10, 1998, the EEOC and Mitsubishi reached a settlement. Mitsubishi agreed to pay $34 million in compensation to the workers who had been affected. The company also agreed that they would revamp their sexual harassment policies and adapt a “zero tolerance” policy toward sexual harassment. This meant that they would revise the company’s existent policies and commit to setting up a proper complaint procedure as well as sexual harassment training for its employees. Mitsubishi would also be under review by an independent panel which would monitor the progress at the Normal, Illinois plant. Mitsubishi did become vigilant in their stand against sexual harassment in the workplace and hired Lynn Martin, former Secretary of Labor to help overhaul the system. They now boast a zero tolerance policy.
Sexual harassment is unfortunately part of the day to day life of many workers around the country and makes going to work difficult for many, fortunately there are employment law attorneys such as Tayeb Hyderally who are there to fight vigorously for the rights of all employees.