Many individuals have to take time off work due to an illness or medical condition. Employees are entitled to medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In California, employees are also entitled to leave for a serious health condition under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Due to the current economy and uncertain job security, many workers question if they will have a job when they come back from leave, or if they should risk taking medical leave at all. Some employees worry that they will be fired while on medical leave.
In 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was signed, women made less than 60 cents for every dollar a male worker made. Despite efforts to address the issue, pay disparity among men and women has remained a problem. Though the data shows that some progress has been made, it also shows there is still a ways left to go. According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, women on average earned 77 cents for every dollar their full-time male counterparts made in 2009.
The largest employment discrimination suit ever filed in the US moved one step closer to trial this past April when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco affirmed a lower court's decision to certify the case as a class action.
As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), enacted in March of 2010, the federal government extended whistleblower protections to those who report breakdowns in patient care, waste, abuse or fraud in health care.
On May 17, 2010, a federal jury in a class action suit in Manhattan awarded 12 former female sales representatives a total of $3.4 million in damages for alleged gender discrimination by the pharmaceutical giant Novartis. The jury found that the company had discriminated against the women in terms of pay and promotion, mostly on the basis of pregnancy.