A 29-year-old transgender woman obtained a rare victory when she settled a gender identity discrimination case for $50,000. The woman was fired in 2010 when she informed her boss at a market of her intention to begin gender transitioning from male to female. Since federal discrimination statutes do not specifically forbid gender identity discrimination, the woman claimed sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Title VII is the federal statute at the foundation of workplace discrimination laws in all states, including Missouri.
Missouri residents may be interested in accounts of numerous recent controversies involving businesses claiming that their religious liberties allow them to refuse to hire or serve members of the LGBT community . For many privately held businesses, what some in the LGBT community call employment discrimination or even bigotry against certain customers is merely an exercise of their right to religious freedom. Gay and lesbian marriage may be legal in some states, but that hasn't stopped some business owners from standing against it.
The St. Louis Police Officers Association president, who is also a police sergeant, was recently awarded $620,000 in actual and punitive damages in a reverse racial discrimination suit. The workplace discrimination suit, filed in Jan. 2012, named a variety of defendants, including the police department, the Police Board of Commissioners and the mayor. It was alleged that the man was passed over for a position at the Police Academy because they were specifically looking to give a black woman the job.
A leadership aide for the Senate Democratic has reported that the Senate may vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in September. This act could have a dramatic impact on workplace discrimination by preventing employers from discriminating against workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. If passed, the act would affect employees and employers in Missouri and in other states.
Most forms of discrimination in the workplace have been illegal for a number of years thanks to both state and federal laws. However, weight discrimination is still legal in 49 states, including Missouri. Weight discrimination cases, while rare, do pop up from time to time. A recent workplace discrimination case from New Jersey upheld an employer's right to limit an employee's weight.
When the United States Supreme Court overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in June, the decision was hailed by many as a landmark ruling. Many Missouri small business owners viewed the decision as positive because it overturned provisions of DOMA that essentially mandated workplace discrimination against employees in same-sex marriages. But most believe the Supreme Court's ruling does not go far enough to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.
A new report finds that pregnant workers in Missouri and around the nation are routinely denied the basic accommodations they need to keep working during their pregnancies and often end up losing their jobs as a result. The study by the National Women's Law Center and worker advocate organization A Better Balance finds workplace discrimination against pregnant workers is especially prevalent in low-paying jobs. These are the jobs that tend to be more physically demanding, such as cashier positions that require workers to be on their feet up to 10 hours a day, and thus require a greater level of accommodation.
There is no federal law at the present time that prohibits workplace discrimination against people who are gay, lesbian or transgender. Missouri is one of the 29 states that have no state law banning this type of discrimination in hiring or firing employees. The District of Columbia and 21 states have laws on their books that protect LGBT workers.
A news anchor has filed a discrimination complaint against his former employer, a Missouri news station. The complaint was filed with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and alleges that the news anchor suffered from workplace discrimination during the course of his employment with the station. His complaint states that after he pointed out discrepancies between his pay and the pay of his co-anchor he was treated differently at the station.
A lawsuit filed by a Missouri deputy against the county sheriff, prosecutor and sheriff's department has been dismissed after the parties agreed to settle outside of court for $145,000. In the employment discrimination lawsuit, the deputy accused the three named parties of employment discrimination, Sunshine Law violation and retaliation.