Immigrant farm workers have a higher risk of being victims of sexual violence than other workers in the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of these workers have recently experienced sexual harassment due to employers' failure to protect them, according to a 95-page report from the Human Rights Watch. This is especially relevant to California, since the state is one of the major destinations for immigrants traveling from other countries to find employment.
HSRR's Virginia Keeny has been appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court by Governor Jerry Brown. Ms. Keeny is a current partner at HSRR and was a partner at Hadsell and Stormer Inc. from 1993 to 2007 and a senior trial attorney in the Los Angeles District Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1991 to 1993. Keeny was a public interest fellow at Litt and Stormer from 1989 to 1991. From 1988 to 1989, she served as a law clerk for Judge William A. Norris in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Keeny earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Stanford Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is not uncommon. But many workers in Los Angeles may not even realize when they are a victim of sexual harassment because they presume inappropriate physical touching is required. It is not.
California readers may be interested in a new piece of legislation introduced by multiple members of the U.S. House of Representatives in early May. Called the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the bill is meant to provide significant protections to pregnant employees and prevent employment discrimination. Specifically, if passed, the legislation would encourage employers to work with pregnant women to provide appropriate accommodations and a productive workplace environment.
Discrimination in the workplace not only can affect one's job performance, but a person's emotional state as well. Unfortunately, even though many are aware of the harm caused by workplace discrimination, it nonetheless continues in both public and private places of employment. One San Francisco man has filed a lawsuit making such a claim against the Merced County Sheriff's Department, alleging that he was fired by the department because he is gay.
Many young people are struggling to find employment after graduating from college. An ever growing practice by companies across the country is making it even more difficult for people to find gainful employment. Many companies are now asking for potential employees to hand over their social media usernames and passwords. This may cause some candidates to face wrongful discrimination, and lose a job offer. A new bill introduced in the California legislature may soon make this workplace discrimination practice illegal. The state joins a number of other states in considering similar legislation.