When a long-term partner at a top firm suddenly received a harsh review from a male partner and a punishing pay cut in 2010, she complained of gender discrimination. Shortly thereafter, despite having a long history of high performance, the 63-year-old intellectual property attorney was fired. If the law firm had kept her on until she turned 65, she would have received valuable retirement benefits. So, although she was easily able to get a job at another top law firm, she added age discrimination and wrongful termination to her complaint.
When a lawyer in his early 60s was fired from the office of the Illinois Attorney General, he suspected that his age was the reason. He did not bring his case under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, however. Instead, he brought his age discrimination claim under one of the nation's older civil rights laws, Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871.
After a federal court upheld its subpoena against LA-based clothing chain Forever 21, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division confirmed that the agency is cracking down on what it considers widespread violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act in Southern California's apparel industry. The federal agency claims that garment makers and retailers violate the FLSA's recordkeeping, minimum wage and overtime requirements on an almost habitual basis. In fact, the DOL found violations in 93 percent of the apparel companies it has investigated.
Across the United States, all of the federal circuits except the Second, which covers Connecticut, Vermont and New York, have had the same rule on employer retaliation under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Here in California and in the rest of the country, workers who complain about violations of the FLSA are protected from retaliation whether they complained internally to their employers or filed formal complaints with regulatory agencies.
The former manager of Walt Disney Co.'s collections and preservation department in Los Angeles has filed a lawsuit against the entertainment giant claiming that it had him shunned and abruptly fired him after he reported a subordinate's sexual harassment complaint. He claims that his superiors urged his co-workers to shun him, even going so far as to de-friend him on Facebook, and refused to give him any form of professional reference after firing him. In essence, he was blacklisted.