In Colorado, as elsewhere, discrimination in the workplace is against the law. However, simply because an employee claims that they have been the victim of discrimination does not make it true.
Three former employees of the NBA recently filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the basketball association. At the heart of the claims is that these women say they were asked to work hours that are not compatible with child-rearing. They claim that in order to work the hours that were expected of them, they had to pay substantial childcare costs and that is unfair to them.
These three women decided to leave their jobs rather than pay for the cost of child care. Now they are claiming that the treatment that they were subjected to was discriminatory and that they were essentially forced out of their jobs because they are working mothers.
This lawsuit raises several questions for employers. Should it be the employer responsibility to make sure an employee has the proper hours to raise their children and work? In this case, the hours were changed while the one working mother was on maternity leave. Is this OK, or did she have reason to believe her hours would always stay the same?
While discrimination does happen in some workplaces, when looking at a case such as this, one has to question whether the women were treated differently or treated the same as other employees. Did the other employees also have to adapt to their new hours?
In this case, the women also claim the NBA compensated them less than their counterparts and that they were not given the same opportunities to advance.
Overall, workplace discrimination claims, such as this one, can be rather costly for employers. However, an attorney with experience in employment litigation can help an employer by explaining the different options that are available after a lawsuit is filed in order to prevent business losses.
Source: The Washington Post, "Ex-NBA employee files $3M gender discrimination NY lawsuit, saying NBA is unfair to mothers," Oct. 23, 2012
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