Summary List Placement
American workplaces have long been hotbeds of discrimination and
harassment, particularly for those who aren’t white, light-skinned,
male, straight, single, young, able-bodied Americans.
Since 2000, 99% of Fortune 500 companies have paid settlements
in at least one discrimination or s****l harassment lawsuit,
according to a report from
Good Jobs First, and that’s not including the cases without a
public record or incidents
victims didn’t report.
Even though there are laws against pay
discrimination, US companies on average still
pay women just $0.82 for every dollar they pay men, and
pay women of color even less — and executives have made
no progress in closing wage gaps across the country since the
early 2000s. In 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission received more than
7,500 s****l harassment complaints, and
72,000 complaints about racial, s*x, age, religious and other
types of discrimination.
In recent years, however, empowered in part by the
#MeToo movements, American workers are increasingly turning to
the courts to hold their employers accountable for breaking civil
rights laws and demand companies fix racist, s****t, ageist,
ableist, and other biased pay practices and work environments.
Since 2018, companies like
Target have paid out multimillion-dollar settlements, and this
year brought an even larger wave of high-profile cases.
Here are some of the major workplace discrimination, harassment,
and retaliation lawsuits that workers filed against America’s
largest companies in 2020, as well as cases where new plaintiffs
Have you faced discrimination or harassment in your
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Amazon was accused in lawsuits this year of having hiring practices
and COVID-19 safety measures that were racially biased, as well as
discriminating against a pregnant transgender man.
February: Former hiring manager Lisa McCarrick
sued Amazon after her manager allegedly asked her to stalk job
applicants’ social media accounts to determine their race and
gender, and then fired her when she complained. [NBC
October: Shaun Simmons, a transgender man,
claimed in a lawsuit that he faced harassment and retaliation while
working at Amazon and was demoted and denied a promotion after
telling his manager he was pregnant. [NBC
November: Former Amazon warehouse employee
Chris Smalls sued Amazon over its pandemic response, claiming it
violated civil rights laws by failing to protect Black, Brown, and
immigrant warehouse workers from COVID-19 while looking out for its
mostly white managers. [Business
November: Denard Norton, a Black Amazon
warehouse employee, sued the company accusing it of denying him
promotions based on race and ignoring his repeated complaints about
coworkers’ racist remarks. [NJ.com]
Bloomberg LP was hit by lawsuits accusing it of aiding and abetting
Charlie Rose’s s****l harassment, as well as racial and gender bias
in its pay and promotion practices.
June: Two women who had accused ex-CBS News
host Charlie Rose of s****l harassment also sued Bloomberg for
“aiding and abetting” Rose, who operated his independently owned
studio out of Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. [The
August: Former Bloomberg reporter Nafeesa
Syeed sued the company for pay and promotion practices that were
allegedly “top-down” and systemically biased against women of
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a private philanthropy run by
Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, was sued by employees who
claimed Black employees are “underpaid, undervalued, and
November: ex-CZI employee Ray Holgado sued the
nonprofit, claiming he was consistently denied promotion and growth
opportunities, and was treated differently because of his race.
Disney was sued in 2019 over gender-based pay discrimination, and
multiple additional women joined the lawsuit this year.
March: Chelsea Henke became
the tenth Disney executive to join a lawsuit filed against the
company in April 2019 that alleged “rampant gender pay
Facebook became the subject of a federal complaint alleging the
company is biased against Black employees and candidates.
July: While not a formal lawsuit, a Facebook
recruiter and two rejected job applicants filed a complaint with
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing Facebook of
“racial discrimination” against Black workers and applicants “in
hiring, evaluations, promotions, and pay.” [Business
Fox News ex-host Ed Henry was accused of s****l assault, while
hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Howard Kurtz, and Gianno
Caldwell were all accused of harassment in a lawsuit by a former
July: Former Fox News producer Jennifer
Eckhart claimed in a lawsuit that ex-host Ed Henry violently raped
her, and that Fox News knew and refused to discipline him, while
former Fox guest Cathy Areu alleged she was sexually harassed by
Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Howard Kurtz, and Gianno Caldwell.
Goldman Sachs allegedly covered up s****l misconduct by a top
lawyer, and the woman who spoke publicly about it sued, claiming
the company retaliated against her.
October: Former Goldman Sachs employee Marla
Crawford claimed one of the bank’s top lawyers, Darrell Cafasso,
sexually harassed a female subordinate and that Goldman covered up
the allegations and retaliated against her for trying to speak
publicly about it. [Business
Google ex-employees who sued the company in 2017 over gender pay
disparities asked the court this year to expand their case to
include 10,800 additional coworkers.
July: Four employees who sued Google in 2017,
alleging women at the company are paid about $16,794 less than men
in similar positions, asked the court to grant their lawsuit class
action status, which would allow them to represent 10,800 other
female Google employees. [Business
Hearst, the parent company of Esquire magazine, was sued by an
ex-executive at Esquire who claimed she faced gender and age
discrimination from her former boss.
September: Former Esquire ad executive Lauren
Johnson, 52, sued Hearst, the magazine’s parent company, claiming
she faced age and gender discrimination as well as retaliation for
complaining, and that her boss Jack Essig “regularly mocked” older
employees and female workers. [Business
Johnson & Johnson was sued by an ex-exec who claimed she faced
“s****t, harassing and demeaning” behavior from male coworkers due
to her gender and s****l orientation.
December: Gina Bilotti, a high-ranking 25-year
veteran of Johnson & Johnson, sued the company, claiming she
had endured years of discrimination, harassment, abuse, and
retaliation on the basis of her gender and s****l orientation.
Marriott was sued by a Black ex-employee who claimed he was fired
in retaliation for complaining about racist behavior by coworkers.
July: Kaseam Seales, formerly a bellhop at a
Marriott hotel in New Jersey, claimed the company fired him in
retaliation for complaining that his coworkers were exhibiting
racist behavior toward him, and that they consistently gave more
lucrative shifts to white bellhops. [Providence
McDonald’s is facing two racial discrimination lawsuits from Black
franchisees as well as a class action s****l harassment suit, and
could be on the hook for billions of dollars in damages.
April: McDonald’s employees filed a $500
million s****l harassment class-action lawsuit against the company,
claiming they faced physical and verbal harassment from coworkers
and customers. [Business
August: 52 Black ex-franchisees filed a $1
billion racial-discrimination lawsuit against McDonald’s, claiming
the company sent them on “financial suicide missions” by pushing
them to open stores in less profitable locations, eventually
cutting the number of Black franchisees by 50% over the past two
October: In a separate class action suit,
current Black franchisees said they faced a “pipeline of
discrimination” from McDonald’s, which allegedly imposed “two
standards” for white and black owners, giving white franchisees
better opportunities while being more strict with Black owners on
safety inspections. [Business
Morgan Stanley’s first diversity officer sued the bank over claims
of racial discrimination and retaliating against employees who
tried to make its culture more inclusive.
June: Marilyn Booker, Morgan Stanley’s first
diversity officer, claimed in a racial-discrimination lawsuit that
the bank retaliated against her and other Black female employees
and eventually fired her for trying to make the bank’s workforce
more diverse and inclusive. [The
The NCAA was sued by HBCU athletes who claimed the organization’s
academic performance policies are biased against their schools.
December: Athletes from Historically Black
Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) sued the National Collegiate
Athletic Association, college sports’ governing body, claiming its
academic performance standards â€” which are ostensibly meant to
improve graduation rates â€” simply ended up discriminating against
their schools, and thus disproportionately impacted Black student
Oracle was sued in 2017 by female employees over gender pay
disparities, and a court earlier this year opened the class action
to more than 4,000 other current and former employees.
May: Three female Oracle employees sued the
company in 2017, claiming it paid women less than men, citing an
economists’ study that found the pay gap averaged $13,000 per year.
This year, a court granted the case class action status, opening
the door for more than 4,000 current and former employees to join
the suit. [The
Pinterest recently paid a former executive $22.5 million to settle
a gender discrimination lawsuit and is facing another from
shareholders over alleged racial and gender discrimination.
August: Ex-Pinterest COO FranÃ§oise Brougher
filed a gender-bias lawsuit against the company, claiming she faced
pay discrimination and s****t behavior from other executives.
Pinterest paid $22.5 million in December to settle the suit.
December: Following Brougher’s lawsuit and
explosive allegations by
dozens of current and
former employees, Pinterest shareholders sued the company,
accusing it of harming investors by creating and perpetuating a
culture of racial and s*x discrimination. [Business
Uber was sued by a driver who claimed the company’s five-star
rating system is racially biased.
October: Thomas Liu, a former Uber driver,
sued the company after it kicked him off the platform because his
driver rating had fallen below a 4.6 out of 5. He claimed Uber’s
use of the system amounted to “intentional race discrimination”
because of the “widely recognized” notion that racism often slips
into customers’ evaluations of workers. [Business
Warner Bros. was sued by a former executive who alleged she faced
gender discrimination and harassment from men in the company’s
senior ranks, which she called an “old boys club.”
October: An ex-Warner Bros. executive sued the
company over gender discrimination, claiming she was fired in
retaliation for raising complaints about s****t behavior and
harassment by male executives. [Deadline]
WeWork was hit with at least three lawsuits from former employees
alleging harassment, discrimination, and that a manager intimidated
an employee by, among other things, bringing a crossbow and knives
July: WeWork became the subject of three new
gender and race discrimination and harassment lawsuits this
Source: FS – All – Interesting – Lifestyle
2020 brought a wave of discrimination and harassment
allegations against major companies like Amazon, McDonald's, and
Pinterest. These are some of the year's high-profile legal