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CA employment lawyerIn the current political climate, immigration is a hot-button issue. As a result, it is increasingly likely now for employees to find immigration-related issues spilling over into the workforce. As a form of employment discrimination, it cuts both ways in the San Jose area. While foreign-born workers with green cards and work permits have long faced harassment and unfair treatment on the job site, in the local tech industry there are claims that visa holders have a distinct advantage.

Accusations that Tech Companies Favor Visa Holders

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., a company with revenue over $19 billion in the past fiscal year which has launched a customer collaboration center and digital re-animation studio in Silicon Valley, was recently cleared of charges that they engaged in discriminatory hiring practices. The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in Oakland federal court against the company in 2015. At that time, company workers alleged in a class action lawsuit that Tata discriminated against non-Asian workers. In addition to unfair hiring practices, the plaintiffs claimed that American employees were more than 13 times more likely to be fired than their Asian counterparts.

The original complaint was filed by an IT worker, who claimed roughly 95 percent of Tata’s 14,000 US employees were of Asian descent. He also cited the fact that Tata was the second largest company in the country in terms of hiring workers under the H-1B Visa program. H-1B visas allow companies to recruit and bring into the country foreign-born workers who are highly skilled in their fields. Tata is not the first American company to face these accusations. The U.S. Department of Labor found Cisco Systems guilty of the same types of charges.

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employment discrimination, wrongful death claim, San Jose employment law attorneys, employer liability, chronic health conditionsMany people suffer from ongoing disabilities and chronic health conditions that prevent them from performing certain types of tasks on their job. While employers have the right to require you to perform specific duties as part of your job description, employment discrimination is illegal and workers are protected against having to engage in activities that could end up putting them in harm's way due to their disabilities. A recent case involving the wrongful death of a San Jose judge highlights the types of problems disabled employees can run into, and how their employers can be held liable in a claim.

Employer Held Liable for Job-Related Death of San Jose Judge

This case centered on a 74-year-old administrative law judge with the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. According to a May 2018 report in the Sacramento Bee, he had worked at the San Jose office for 13 years, presiding over unemployment cases. He suffered from a documented heart condition, which ended up claiming his life in September 2015. In the months prior to his passing, he believed his employer was discriminating against him on the basis of his disability.

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employment discrimination, San Jose workplace discrimination attorneys, immigrant job discrimination, Workplace Discrimination, national origin discriminationThe current political climate and recent changes in government policies have taken a heavy toll on the immigrant population. In addition to the fear of being targeted for hate crimes and abuse, they also face a greater likelihood for employment discrimination. While local leaders and community members have taken a stronger stance in general to provide support for people from other countries and to protect them in our community, the fact is there are still those who hold strong opinions on nationalism and reflect those in their business practices. The following highlights important information about the immigrant population in our area and the hurdles they can face in the job market.

San Jose is Home to a Diverse Population

According to the National Immigration Forum, San Jose is home to a diverse population of individuals and extended family members, of whom more than 35 percent are immigrants from other countries. The largest percentage of foreign born residents in our area come from places throughout Asia and Latin American, as well as from African nations, such as Ethiopia.

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pregnancy discrimination, San Jose pregnancy discrimination lawyers, pregnant employee, employment discrimination, temporarily disabled employeePregnant employees in California are afforded a significant amount of legal protection against workplace discrimination. For example, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. In other words, the PDA requires employers to treat pregnant job applicants/employees in the same manner as any other applicant/employee with similar abilities.

Additionally, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides significant protection for pregnant employees, most notably by requiring California employers with 50 or more employees to provide job-protected maternity leave after the birth of a child. However, there seems to be some confusion about California’s pregnancy discrimination in the workplace laws. Consider the following commonly answered questions for further clarification.

Q: What are examples of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace?

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employment discrimination,  San Jose employment lawyer, age discrimination, anti-discrimination laws,  discrimination claimWhen it comes to employment discrimination, not all employers are equal. Federal and state laws actually “discriminate” against employers based on their size. That is to say, anti-discrimination laws may only apply to businesses that have a specified minimum number of employees.

For example, most federal laws protecting workers from discrimination based on race, sex, or national origin can only be enforced against businesses with 15 or more employees. In contrast, California's Fair Employment and Housing Act generally applies to businesses with just five or more employees. Additionally, some laws, such as the federal Equal Pay Act which requires men and women be paid the same for “substantially equal” work, apply to all employers regardless of the total number of employees.

California Court Rules Local Governments Not Subject to Minimum-Employee Rule Under ADEA

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job discrimination, San Jose sexual orientation discrimination lawyer, discrimination claim, gender stereotyping, employment discriminationCalifornia's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects workers from job discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This means that even in cases where an LGBTQ employee is allegedly fired for nondiscriminatory reasons, if there is evidence that a “discriminatory motive” influenced the termination, the employer may still be liable for damages.

Discriminatory motives are not always obvious. For instance, an employer is unlikely to come out and say, “We're firing you because you are gay.” In many cases, the discrimination takes the form of gender stereotyping—i.e., disfavoring an employee who acts “too gay” or does not conform to certain behavioral expectations. While this can be more difficult to prove in court, it is nonetheless a valid basis for a discrimination claim.

“Gender Stereotyping” May Support Discrimination Claim

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