Minneapolis residents work hard to earn a living to support themselves and their families. While it can be challenging enough to earn a living in a competitive workplace, that challenge is made far worse for those who are not treated as equals with their coworkers.
Fortunately, when employers act in an unlawful manner, employees may have a legal claim they can assert for workplace discrimination. A host of federal and state laws prohibit various types of employment discrimination, and employers can be held accountable under these laws when they unlawfully discriminate against employees.
For instance, a Minnesota-based company recently agreed to pay a transgender employee $115,000 in connection with a settlement of a sex discrimination and harassment lawsuit. After the employee informed her employer that she was transgender, the employer prohibited the woman from using the women's restroom. The woman also faced a hostile work environment from her supervisors and co-workers, including being subjected to insults and name calling.
As part of the settlement, the company also agreed to issue a letter of apology, as well as a letter of reference for future employers. The company is also revising its equal employment opportunity policies and its national health benefit plan, in addition to providing annual training for its employees on unlawful sex discrimination.
The case illustrates how employees may obtain legal relief when their employers act unlawfully. This legal relief not only includes an award of damages to compensate the employee for the harm that has been suffered, but other measures that may be implemented in certain cases like the above. In short, employment discrimination cases may not only hold the employer responsible for the damage caused to the employee personally, but it may also result in a change of policy and attitudes that will benefit future employees as well.
Source: The Arizona Republic, "$115k settlement in Phoenix transgender worker discrimination case," Kathryn J. Woo, Jan. 21, 2016