Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination Cases pic
Discrimination Cases

As a privately practicing attorney, Douglas Geyman focuses primarily on employment law. Douglas Geyman has represented clients on both sides of workplace disputes, including cases of discrimination.

Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employer may not legally discriminate based on an employee’s sex. The act applies to all companies and organizations with 15 or more employees, while state law increases coverage for many other entities. This legislation followed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits employers from paying men more than women for the same work, so long as the work requires similar accountability, skill, and effort.

Combined, this legislation makes it illegal for an employer to offer different wages or benefits based on an employee’s gender or family situation. For example, an employer may not deny health benefits to a female employee’s husband and simultaneously offer benefits to the wife of a male employee. Employers are likewise prohibited from denying opportunities to women with children if the same opportunities would be available to a man with children of similar age.

Furthermore, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 has confirmed that an employer may not penalize an employee in any way if she becomes pregnant. Instead, the employer must treat pregnancy-related absences and impacts to performance as it would treat any other temporary debility. These guidelines reflect the need for employers to carefully consider their actions in regards to female employees and to assess whether policy would be similar for their male counterparts.


Discrimination Claims Against an Employer

Discrimination Cases pic
Discrimination Cases

With a successful practice in the San Diego area, attorney Douglas Geyman has emerged as an authority in the field of employment law. Douglas Geyman deals with a large volume of casework in matters of discrimination. In employment law, discrimination refers to unfair or unequal treatment by an employer on the basis of factors such as age, race, disability, or gender.

Before taking on a discrimination case, employment attorneys typically begin by determining whether an employee belongs to a protected class. If so, the employment attorney can begin reviewing all statements and correspondences with the client’s employer. Although many companies attempt to justify job termination with reasons such as budget constraints or poor performance, an in-depth analysis can sometimes disprove these claims. For example, an employee may receive a poor performance rating that supposedly justifies firing. If an employer uses different performance criteria for that employee than for others doing similar work, and the employee is a member of a protected class, the employee may be able to file a discrimination lawsuit.

Whistleblower Protection Laws Explained

Whistleblower Protection Laws  pic
Whistleblower Protection Laws

A longtime attorney with years of experience in employment law, Douglas Geyman owns and operates his legal practice in San Diego. In this capacity, Douglas Geyman offers a full range of services, including protection for whistleblowers. Defined as employees who report suspected illegal activities conducted by an employer, whistleblowers are entitled to certain legal rights under federal law.

Whistleblower protection law protects individuals from a wide range of employer retaliation, including creation of a hostile work environment and job loss. Employers may also choose to retaliate by cutting back the number of employee hours or reducing the pay rate, both of which violate the tenets of whistleblower laws. Whistleblowers receive legal protection for reporting on a variety of violations, including safety hazards and sexual harassment. The reporting of Illegal demands made on workers, such as requiring truckers to drive more hours in a row than federal regulations allow, has been the subject of legal action.

Wage and Hour Law Violations

Douglas Geyman has been practicing employment law for more than two decades and is featured on the San Diego Bar Association’s list of the best attorneys in his field. Douglas Geyman deals primarily with cases involving wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and wage and hour claims.  The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), otherwise known as the Wage and Hour Law, is so frequently violated that it generates numerous lawsuits. The most common violations include:

1. Improperly classifying employees as exempt from wage and hour laws when the work they do entitles them to protection under those laws.
2. Failing to pay overtime, which includes all hours worked more than 40 in a week. (Some states, including California, have even more stringent requirements.)
3. Failing to provide sufficient lunch and rest breaks according to the law.
4. Failing to reimburse employees for work-related expenses.

Employers who violate the FLSA are liable for up to two years of unpaid back wages and monetary damages as assessed by the court of up to three times the unpaid wages, in addition to other fines for willful violations. This, combined with the cost of defending the suit, can be a particularly onerous burden for small businesses. To avoid wage and hour violation claims, employers should keep accurate payroll and hours-worked records, provide adequate overtime compensation, and err on the side of the employees when in doubt.