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Recent Posts in Workplace Discrimination Category

  • #MeToo: Sexual Harassment & the Workplace

    The news has been abuzz with stories of sexual harassment and abuse victims speaking up and fighting back. From the viral hashtag campaign #MeToo, to the “Time’s Up” movement at the Golden Globes, to the men and women who are speaking out against leaders and politicians, sexual harassment is a trending topic. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is a widespread problem, especially in the workplace. It ...
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  • Do Employers Have To Let Their Employees Take Religious Holidays Off?

    According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, businesses that have 15 or more employees have to make reasonable accommodations for their employees’ religious observances. This means that if a covered employer can reasonably accommodate an employee’s request for a religious observance, they must do so. Anti-discrimination laws in some states might even cover religious accommodations for ...
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  • Pregnancy Discrimination & Your Rights

    Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978, pregnant employees must not be discriminated against in the workplace. However, the PDA only applies to companies with 15 or more employees. If you work at a company with less than 15 employees, you will need to look at your regional Department of Labor Women’s Bureau office to understand your rights. Under the PDA, you are protected from a ...
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  • Is Sexual Orientation Protected from Workplace Discrimination?

    Recent laws regarding same-sex marriage rights in the country have changed many peoples’ perception of sexual orientation and equality as a whole. But despite these changes and beliefs, sexual orientation is not a protected class in the workplace. Some examples of protected classes are age, race, disability, and religion. If someone is discriminated against at work or by a potential employer due ...
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  • The Two Types of Sexual Harassment Claims

    Sexual harassment is an unfortunate problem that still exists in workplaces everywhere. When you get to the point where you feel the need to file a sexual harassment claim, it’s important to know what the law says about this issue, as it will help you make a better-informed decision on how to proceed. An Oklahoma City employment attorney can also help you to take the necessary steps and see to it ...
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  • State or federal anti-discrimination claim in Oklahoma?

    About a month ago, this blog discussed the fact that when it comes to filing an employment discrimination suit in a court of law, there may be a requirement to 'exhaust all administrative remedies.' In the context of federal court, this means getting a notice of right to sue from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. However, as we pointed out then, the State of Oklahoma also has an ...
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  • What is 'exhaustion of administrative remedies' in Oklahoma?

    Oklahoma law does not recognize a private cause of action that can be filed in the state's courts for discrimination in the workplace, with the exception of those cases which involve discrimination on the basis of disability. We also touched on the interplay between federal and state courts, and how the process of pursuing a claim may be different, depending on the venue. The federal and state ...
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  • What state agency handles workplace discrimination in Oklahoma?

    This blog has dealt previously with the filing of complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). While that entity certainly plays a role in enforcing anti-discrimination laws, there are also state government resources in Oklahoma that are available. In Oklahoma, discrimination investigation and enforcement powers are given to a section of the Oklahoma Attorney ...
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  • No one should put up with workplace discrimination in Oklahoma

    Americans seem to be working longer hours these days than they did 30 years ago, and most people agree that U.S. residents work more and take fewer vacations than people living in some of the other industrialized countries. This means that Oklahomans, like the rest of the country, spend a lot of time at their places of employment. Because of this, it is important that employees understand that ...
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  • What is workplace 'age discrimination' in Oklahoma?

    We have spoken in the past about various forms of workplace discrimination, such as that based on race, gender or disability. We have also mentioned that federal law makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of age. But what does this mean, and to what ages does it apply? As with other forms of employment discrimination, the law does not allow employers to base hiring, firing, ...
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  • What is 'indirect discrimination' in Oklahoma employment law?

    This blog has previously discussed the fact that Oklahoma is generally an "at will" employment state, but that it is still illegal for employers to discriminate in hiring and promotion of certain categories of people, or based upon certain characteristics. These include race, religion, gender and disability. So, without some bona fide occupational requirement, it would be illegal discrimination ...
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  • Are there exceptions to workplace discrimination law in Oklahoma?

    This blog has previously noted the discriminatory employment practices that are forbidden by federal and Oklahoma law. We have also discussed some of the methods by which employees can protect their rights under those laws. We have also touched on the fact that some exceptions exist, such as for parents employing their children. Beyond these topics, it may be important to note that Oklahoma also ...
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  • Oklahoma-based University faces Justice Dept. lawsuit

    This blog has previously discussed that some employment discrimination situations can be reported to the federal government for investigation. An institution of higher learning in Oklahoma is about to find out exactly what that looks like. Southeastern Oklahoma State University has been named as a defendant, along with the Regional University System of Oklahoma, of a suit filed by the U.S. ...
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  • Transgender employee accuses college of discrimination

    The United States Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against Southeastern Oklahoma State University over violations of the Civil Rights Act. The lawsuit claims a transgender employee at the college was a victim of discrimination and retaliation. The employee worked as an assistant professor at the college as a man. After the employee began presenting herself as a woman, she claims she was ...
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  • Can one file a workplace discrimination lawsuit in Oklahoma?

    This blog has previously discussed the various forms of employment discrimination that Oklahoma and federal law forbid, along with the process used to file a claim with the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But, what if that doesn't work, or if a worker wants to file a suit and have their day in court? When discussing workplace discrimination ...
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  • What does 'at will' employment mean in Oklahoma?

    Residents of Oklahoma may have heard the term "at will" employment bandied about from time to time. While it may seem self-explanatory, sometimes there is confusion as to what it entails. What does this term mean and how does it affect employer-employee relations in the state? The "at will" employment doctrine has a long history in the United States. While many industrialized countries have ...
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  • How is a whistleblower protected in Oklahoma?

    Oklahomans have likely heard the term "whistleblower" in a few different contexts. There are those that expose government corruption or incompetence, and those that report criminal activity of the wealthy and powerful. In this blog, we are going to talk about whistleblowers in the context of employment and the problem of wrongful termination. There are two kinds of protections in Oklahoma for ...
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  • Race is not the only form of workplace discrimination

    When Oklahoma residents hear the word "discrimination," it is likely that the first image that comes to mind is racial bias. This is understandable, given the history of the United States, as well as the current difficulties the country faces with regard to race relations. In the context of the law, however, experienced employment attorneys are well aware that other forms of discrimination exist. ...
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  • How can I file a workplace discrimination claim in Oklahoma?

    Discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender or disability is illegal under both Oklahoma and federal law. However, the way to receive redress for such discrimination may vary, depending on the type of discrimination that occurred. One can file a claim for discrimination either with the state agency, called the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission (OHRC), or ...
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  • Alleged religious discrimination case heads to U.S. Supreme Court

    As the population and its beliefs grow more diverse in Oklahoma, and a larger pool of people from different racial and religious groups seeking employment increases, it's possible that there will be employment discrimination. The law has attempted to put rules for anti-discrimination in place to prevent this from happening and punish the offenders if it does. However, there are instances when it ...
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  • 10th Circuit upholds claim for retaliation

    Some residents of Oklahoma may be familiar with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. This is the federal court responsible for handling appeals from decisions made in the district courts in several states, including Oklahoma. As such, decisions made in the 10th Circuit can affect legal precedent in this state, even if a case is originally from another one of the states in the circuit. Recently, an ...
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  • What is the meaning of 'disabled' for ADA purposes?

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal statute that protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in various situations. One of the most important effects of the ADA is that it prevents employers from discriminating against the people whom it employs, or prospective employees, because of a disability. However, residents of Oklahoma may not be aware of the definition of ...
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  • Former manager of fast-food restaurant alleges discrimination

    While few people probably spend much time thinking about it, workers throughout the nation deal with discrimination in the workplace. To be actionable in a court of law the discrimination must be based on the employee being part of a protected class. Protected classes include: Sexual orientation Pregnancy Disability Color Age Gender Race Creed National origin A worker at a popular fast-food chain ...
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  • Anti-discrimination rule issued for federal contractors

    The United States Department of Labor issued a final rule recently to implement an executive order amended by President Obama last summer. The executive order and the rule prohibit the federal government and any company that does more than $10,000 in business with the United States from discriminating against employees based upon sexual orientation or gender identification. The rule will be ...
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  • Former nanny to singer alleges age discrimination

    Though many people likely envision an office setting when they think about workplace discrimination, actions constituting discrimination against an employee can happen in a variety of workplace situations. This is illustrated in claim recently filed by a woman who worked as a nanny for the lead singer of the band Devo. The 64-year-old woman claims that after enduring years of verbal abuse and ...
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