Western Digital Employee Discrimination – Dedicated Employment Attorneys
In the last couple of years, our attorneys have seen an increase in significant employment discrimination, retaliation and harassment involving California companies. Our Southern California offices and affiliated associates continue to gather and share data. The general nature of the lawsuits against Western Digital corporation have centered on gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation against employees that reported the despicable behaviors.
The “boys club” environment in technology companies is nothing new. We have heard and seen several hostile work environments where men would wear sexually explicit t-shirts subjecting their female employees to undue stress and discomfort. Although the company allegedly prohibits harassment in the workplace, we have seen cases where a plaintiff file an action under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act describing in detail the types of horrific gender discrimination and retaliation that took place when it was brought up to management. In addition, we are aware of other settlements against California technology companies for discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, ancestry, and sex, as well as Equal Pay act violations, Unfair Competition Law violations, hiring discrimination, sexual harassment, gender and sex discrimination, whistleblowing NDAs, and other sexual misconduct.
If you are a former or current employee at Western Digital, please be aware that there have been many recent settlements holding the company accountable for a culture filled with bias, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and intimidation. We continually receive reports of rampant hostile work environment and unlawful wage disparity at many California technology companies.
Stephen Danz and Associates’ affiliated employment attorneys handle cases solely on behalf of local employees who have experienced labor law violations such as discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, unequal pay, and retaliation. Our experienced and dedicated attorneys understand the client needs to protect his or her rights and income as well as the ability to continue to work. When you trust us with your case, we represent you and your interests with confidence and transparency. Our reputation speaks for itself as we tirelessly work to represent your employment interests so that your professional and financial futures are protected.
We devote our practice to fighting for workers’ rights. Employment law in California is a specialized area and cases are hard-fought. Therefore, having the one of the largest employee-side law firms on your side is critical. If you are in California and searching for attorneys that are both experienced and aggressive, look no further and contact one of our offices. When encountering discrimination, wrongful termination, or retaliation in the workplace, many California employees have turned to our attorneys for guidance. In turn, we represent employees throughout California in their fight against employers that have taken advantage of their upper hand. Our attorneys cover cities in Northern California and Southern California as the State’s courts are as specialized and diverse as the State’s landscape.
Sex and Gender-Related Conduct
While an employer may enforce reasonable workplace appearance, grooming, and dress standards, it must also allow an employee to appear or dress consistently with its gender identity or expression. In addition, refusing to allow an employee to wear pants because of his or her specific sex is unlawful discrimination, with certain exceptions for uniforms and costumes. In fact, employers are prohibited from basing any of the following on the sex of an employee:
- Fringe benefits;
- Jobs (unless there are working conditions that pose a greater danger to the health, safety, or reproductive functions of one sex, in which case the employer must make reasonable accommodations, unless there is undue hardship);
- Job duties;
- Support services and facilities, such as clerical assistance and office space.
In addition, employers may not require any employee to be sterilized (you would be surprised), designating a job exclusively for one sex or to maintain separate lines of progression or separate seniority lists, unless there is a permissible defense. Employers may not directly or indirectly make inquiries that identify an individual on the basis of sex, including gender, gender identity, or gender expression, unless the employer establishes a permissible defense. In addition, employers are prohibited from:
- Discriminating against an applicant for the failure to designate male or female on an employment application form.
- Refusing to comply with an employee’s request to be identified with a preferred gender, name, or pronoun, including gender-neutral pronouns, unless the employer must do so to meet a legally-mandated obligation, such as using the gender and legal name appearing on government-issued identification.
- Inquiring about or requiring documentation or proof of an individual’s sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression as a condition of employment, unless the employer has a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) defense.
- Discriminating against an individual who is transitioning, has transitioned, or is perceived to be transitioning, or
- Denying employment to an individual based entirely or partially on the individual’s sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression.
FEHA regulations also provide that all employees must have equal access to “comparable, safe, and adequate toilet facilities” (Cal. Code Regs. tit. 2, § 11034(e)(2)). The DFEH has issued guidance advising employers that all employees have a right to “safe and appropriate” rest and locker rooms, which means: (1) An employee has the right to use a facility corresponding to their gender identity regardless of sex at birth, and (2) If possible, the employer should have an “easily accessible unisex single stall bathroom” for employee privacy (for example, for an employee who does not want to share a common restroom with a transgender coworker). Use of this bathroom, however, must be voluntary. (see DFEH: Transgender Rights in the Workplace).
Finally, employers that have single-occupancy facilities under their control must display gender-neutral signage for those facilities, such as restroom, unisex, gender neutral, all gender restroom, and so on. If you have any questions about any of the above, please give us a call.