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This is not legal advice, which can only be given by an attorney admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction after hearing all of the facts and circumstances in a particular case.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

News: Suit against Parsons Brinckerhoff

Today's link is from KGO TV, the ABC affiliate in San Francisco, which reports that a transgender IT analyst has filed a lawsuit under California's recently enacted law against her employer, Parsons Brinckerhoff, one of the world's largest engineering and construction management organizations. That law, AB 1400, went into effect on January 1, 2006. While California courts had previously ruled that the statewide civil rights act's references to sex and sexual orientation included transgender people, the new law made this inclusion explicit. This affected all California companies, including the 110 Fortune 500 companies headquartered there. This could also affect millions in Parsons Brinckerhoff government contracts if discrimination is proven or admitted. Some jurisdictions, such as San Francisco, have laws stating that violation of anti-discrimination laws constitute a breach of contract.

The way in which the scenario played out at Parsons Brinckerhoff is instructive. The employee had worked there for years, but did not reveal her long-standing plans to transition. She gave a week's notice before she began using a different name and wearing a different hairstyle and clothing. A supervisor told her she was violating the firm's dress code and sent her home, saying the firm had "issues." She was allowed to return a week later, but claims she was harassed by co-workers for a year, complaining about an employee who asked to see her breasts, being "bumped" in hallways, and being called 'he' or 'it." She says management did nothing to address her complaints, instead telling her she could stay as a part-time employee with a cut in salary and a demotion, or she would be terminated in three months. The lawsuit asks for the company to compensate not only her but others like her.

Parsons Brinckerhoff has not responded to the HRC Corporate Equality Index survey since the survey's inception in 2002

1 comment:

More info said...

California's Fortune 500 companies are: Chevron, Hewlett-Packard, McKesson, Wells Fargo, Intel, Safeway, Walt Disney, Northrop Grumman, Ingram Micro, Cisco Systems, Countrywide Financial, Occidental Petroleum, Gap, Computer Sciences, Apple Computer, DIRECTV Group, Amgen, Health Net, Edison International, Oracle, Sempra Energy, Sanmina-SCI, PG&E Corp., Sun Microsystems, Solectron, KB Home, Calpine, First American Corp., Science Applications Intl., Applied Materials, Agilent Technologies, Golden West Financial, Google, Dole Food, Advanced Micro Devices, Qualcomm, Jacobs Engineering Grp., Avery Dennison, Yahoo, Mattel, Charles Schwab, Ross Stores, Pacific Life, Ryland Group, Longs Drug Stores, eBay, Clorox, Hilton Hotels, Franklin Resources, CNF, Levi Strauss, Standard Pacific, URS, Maxtor, Gateway, Western Digital, Williams-Sonoma, Stater Bros. Holdings, Reliance Steel & Alum., Robert Half Intl., Del Monte Foods, Bell, Microproducts, Electronic Arts, DaVita, UTStarcom, Knight-Ridder, Mercury General, Building Materials, Holding, CB Richard Ellis Group, Unified Western Grocers, Broadcom, Granite Construction, Fleetwood, Enterprises, ABM Industries, Symantec, Jack in the Box, Beckman Coulter, New Century Financial, Nvidia, Allergan, SanDisk, Intuit, KLA-Tencor, Juniper Networks, Gilead Sciences, Spansion, Petco Animal Supplies, Adobe Systems, Univision Communications, Chiron, LSI Logic, National Semiconductor, Pacer, International, William Lyon Homes, Guitar Center, Quiksilver, Indymac Bancorp, Atmel, Maxim Integrated, Products, VeriSign, Molina Healthcare, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Earle M. Jorgensen, Network Appliance, Xilinx, CKE Restaurants, Autodesk, Lam Research, Apria Healthcare Group, Siebel Systems