You Call it “Labor Law Violations,” We Call it Wage Theft

A great new report was just released about labor and employment law violations in American Cities: Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers. The authors surveyed over 4,000 low-wage workers in major American cities concerning their work the previous week. Not surprisingly, they found that the vast majority of them were being screwed by their employers.

According to the report, over two-thirds of the workers surveyed suffered pay-related violations the previous week. The average pay for these workers was $399 per week. The average wage theft? $51 per week.

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Victory for Transgender Rights: Gender Identity Discrimination is Sex Discrimination


Mia Macy is a former police detective with extensive training in ballistics. She wants to move to California, and is told that there’s a job opening there at the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. She’s told that she’s qualified for the job, given her experience and training. She applies, and everything looks set to go, except the routine background check. She tells them that, just FYI, she is in the process of transitioning from male to female. A few days later, she’s told that due to budgetary constraints, the job disappeared. Except it didn’t — it was given to someone else.

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Catholic School Fires Woman for Undergoing In Vitro Fertilization

A woman in Indiana was fired from her job as a Catholic school teacher for using in vitro fertilization. Her situation manages to implicate virtually all of the recent topics on this blog — discrimination based on reproductive choices, specifically pregnancy-related, the ministerial exception to federal anti-discrimination laws, and disability discrimination. Whoa boy.

Emily Herx was fired from her job at a Catholic school for undergoing in vitro fertilization, which the school appeared to think was very un-Catholic, as well as “grave and immoral.”  Continue reading

Advice on Landing a Job, If You Happen to be Male/Young/White, etc.

The economy is a wreck, and everyone’s looking for a job. The unemployment numbers for blacks and Hispanics continue to outpace that of whites.  If you think the disparities are all about education levels, think again. Discrimination complaints at the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) are at an all time high. While not every  complaint is valid, it’s a good bet that discrimination in hiring is affecting a large number of job seekers.

A recent  article on LearnVest reveals just how flawed the hiring process is. While the article reads like advice, the real lesson is that hiring decisions are permeated with bias and the opportunity to discriminate. Continue reading

Birth Control Discrimination in the Details Part II: What’s Pregnancy Got to Do With it?

This is a three-part follow up on a piece I wrote for Slate magazine on whether discrimination against people taking prescription birth control is illegal under federal anti-discrimination law.

What does pregnancy have to do with birth control? Clearly, there is some overlap: women take birth control to avoid becoming pregnant, only women can become pregnant, and only women can take prescription birth control. The latter two facts may change at some point in the distant future, but at the moment, they hold true. Continue reading