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Tennessee man sues employer claiming racial discrimination

Many strides have been made over the years to prevent discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, sometimes workplace discrimination still occurs, leading to a hostile work environment. For example, a black man in Tennessee is suing his employer, the Springfield Water and Wastewater Department, for $500,000 plus punitive damages, alleging that he was the victim of racial discrimination and that his employer permitted a hostile work environment to exist. In the lawsuit, the man alleges that his co-workers placed a rope around his neck and called him a monkey, among other incidents. For example, per court documents, one city worker referred to the man as a "black bastard" in a text message sent to other city workers.

Gay Tennessee law officer subjected to discrimination on-the-job

It may seem as though the gay rights movement has gained steam nationwide, protecting those of all sexual orientations. However, it is an unfortunate fact that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation still occurs in professions across the nation, including law enforcement. The issue of sexual orientation discrimination in law enforcement departments is becoming so problematic that some officers are suing their employers for alleged discrimination and harassment. Some officers are forced to endure taunting, hostile work environments and limited chances for promotion or protection, simply due to their sexual orientation.

Workplace discrimination and religion

A person's religious beliefs can be a part of their identity. For some in Tennessee, their religious practices are of paramount importance. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people working in the private sector from discrimination in the workplace based on religion. The courts have determined that there are numerous types of discrimination that are illegal. Specifically, these include fostering a hostile work environment, disparate impact discrimination and disparate treatment discrimination.

Can at-will employees be retaliated against at work?

If a Tennessee employee is not a party to a work contract, they are an "at-will" employee. This means that their employer has the legal right to fire the employee for any reason or for no reason at all. Conversely, the employee has the legal right to quit for any reason or for no reason at all.

Who can take time off work via the Family and Medical Leave Act?

No one in Tennessee anticipates being struck with a serious illness or having a loved one experience one. When this happens, a worker may need to take an extended leave from work. If they are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, they may be able to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave without having to fear losing their job or being demoted.

Unlawful workplace discrimination can include sexual harassment

Unfortunately, despite gains in the movement for equal rights, sexual harassment in the workplace is an ongoing issue. People in Tennessee who are being harassed at work may need to take legal action after exhausting internal procedures for addressing their situation. Harassment can be very damaging for both women and men alike, as men can also be subjected to sexual harassment. Therefore, it is important for all workers to be able to recognize what constitutes unlawful harassment in the workplace, so they can take appropriate action.

Unlawful age discrimination can occur in Tennessee workplaces

Workers with many years of job experience can be a valuable asset to any Tennessee business. They have seen many situations that can arise in the course of their job duties, and they know how to handle them. In addition, they can often serve as mentors to younger workers. However, older workers are sometimes seen as "dinosaurs" who are out-of-touch with technology or other workplace advancements. Thus, workers seeking a promotion or job-seekers seeking employment may be passed up due to their age.

Keeping up with changes in employment law

Workplace regulations and policies are posing issues for both employers and workers, especially when they are breached. For example, the #metoo movement has put sexual harassment in the workplace in the limelight. Employers who fail to have effective policies to prevent sexual harassment or properly address it can find themselves entangled in a legal battle with a harassed employee.

State and federal law address age discrimination

Older adults have much to contribute to the workplace. They have years of experience that they can use to make informed decisions on behalf of the company. They can serve as mentors to younger employees. Moreover, they are just as capable at adapting to changes in the workplace as younger employees. However, sometimes an older worker is labeled a "dinosaur" with the often untrue perception that their opinions are out-of-date or they cannot keep up with changes in technology. In certain cases, if an employee is treated less favorably due to their age, this could constitute age discrimination.

When can a Tennessee worker bring a qui tam action?

It can be disturbing for a worker in Jackson to discover their employer is committing fraud against the government. The worker may feel morally obligated to report such fraud to the appropriate authorities. One way a worker to do this is to file a qui tam lawsuit.

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