Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Revisited

It has been said that one of the additional forces which create racial discrimination, is disability. Pieces of legislation are passed to address the issue with the main aim of preventing, if not totally eradicating, discrimination. One of these laws is the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the following:

• programs conducted by Federal agencies
• programs receiving Federal financial assistance
• Federal employment
• employment practices of Federal contractors

As regards discrimination in employment, the standard is the same as those provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. Below are some pertinent provisions which highlight the Act and which can be basis of right and cause of action and where to file complaints.

Section 501 of the Act requires affirmative action and non-discrimination by Federal agencies of the executive branch. If you are a Federal agency employee or an applicant and you believe you were discriminated against, you should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Office.

If however, it is a Federal government contractor or subcontractor with contracts more than $10,000 who/which discriminated you, it is to the Office of the Federal Contract Compliance Program where you should lodge your complaint. Such is the case because Section 503 of the Act also requires those mentioned affirmative action and prohibits them from discriminating.

If you, on the other hand, were excluded from, denied benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which either receives Federal financial assistance or is conducted by the Executive agency or the United States Postal Service, then you should go to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Lastly, if you were denied access to electronic and information technology because of your disability, contact the Center for IT Accommodation of the U.S. General Services Administration for complaint.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Discrimination’s New Label?

The ratification of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) may be a welcome sign for many advocates of labor and employment issues. While this may be an addition to the so-called “arsenal of weapons” for those battling discrimination in the workplace, it may also pose a new level of risk for others, especially ordinary citizens, where the new law may impose a new restriction on freedom of some individuals

In the article, “Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act”, posted on July 29, 2008, provides important information on the new discrimination law. The newly signed law “prohibits discrimination based on genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment.

This means that genetic information derived by human genome technology must be protected and prevented from “misuse” by employers and health insurance companies to discriminate anyone.

GINA defines a "genetic information" to include a disease or disorder of an individual’s family member, as well as information revealed in an individual's genetic tests or genetic tests of an individual's family member, other than information about gender or age. It defines a "family member" very broadly, including any dependent, and any first, second, third, or fourth degree relative.

In addition, the law also prohibits retaliation, by making it illegal to discriminate against anyone who opposes violations of the Act. It also requires employers that have genetic information about an employee to maintain that information in a separate confidential medical file, and limits an employer's right to provide genetic information about an employee to anyone else.

A person, who wants to file an employment case under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act case and succeeds in it, can receive damages for lost salary and benefits, as well as emotional distress damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs of litigation.

Like many other federal employment discrimination laws, an individual who has a claim under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act must file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and receive the a "right to sue" before he can file a federal lawsuit.

Although the new law may discourage misuse of genetic information on discrimination, it bothers me to think that the same information could be used for other purposes that might threaten our civil rights.

This time, is legislation necessary to safeguard our rights?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Los Angeles Safeguards and Guarantee on Discrimination and Employee’s Rights

Los Angeles, the home to people of varied nationalities from more than 140 countries, speaking 224 different languages, as can be gleaned, is indeed the common place where opportunity and pleasure is at its finest.

Los Angeles has ever-welcome immigrants from all over the world, since time being. As a fact, it has been continuously nesting varied nationalities in the realms of its territory. A good point to describe Los Angeles, I fairly said.

With the diverse culture and orientation, it cannot be easily discounted the fact that this diverse organization of people could potentially lead to race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, or age discrimination. This has bearing particularly in the workplaces and other avenues of human activities (whether discrimination in voting, housing, business, federal and state government services, medical services, education and public accommodations in hotels or restaurants and other places).

With these conditions, it is worth knowing that federal and California laws protect people in Los Angeles against such discrimination, particularly in workplace scenarios where constant discriminatory actuations happened.

California is not wanting of anti-discrimination laws in its ruling. Specifically, California has addressed discrimination by exacting laws under the following avenues:

  • California Age Discrimination Law

  • California ADA Disability Law

  • California Race Discrimination Law

  • California National Origin Discrimination Law

  • California Pregnancy Discrimination Law

  • Family Medical Leave Act

And on harassment side, California have exacted these:

  • California Sexual Harassment Law

  • California Racial Harassment Law

  • Retaliation by Employers

With these wager of laws, employees in Los Angeles, irrespective of their diverse beginnings can be held as have been safeguarded and guaranteed in their employment rights, especially against employment discrimination.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Deadly Aftermath of a Car Accident

Car accident happens due to various causes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the top six leading causes of car accident re driver distractions, driver fatigue, drunk driving, speeding, aggressive driving and weather.

However, nothing in the causes mentioned above can be blamed for the fatal accident that happened at the Delta-Mendota Canal.

The ill-fated accident that claimed the lives of eight people is the main thesis in the blog, “8 Dead as Vehicles Plunge into Canal after Central Valley Car Accident.”

The accident involved farm laborers. All victims were all immigrants and most were in their teens or early twenties. The accident happened on a small bridge over the canal; both vehicles smashed through the barricades and plunged into the deep water.
Upon investigation, police officers said that the bridge is becoming an accident-prone due to its substandard guardrails that made it an unreasonably dangerous highway.

This particular accident only shows that accident happen anytime, anywhere and under any circumstance. Who would have thought that the guardrails could be one of the culprits in the accident?

I am not saying that if the guardrails were sturdy then the accident would not have happened. Of course, there is no way of stopping it from happening.

What I am saying is if only the guardrails are strong enough to prevent the victims from plunging into the water then they may have been given immediate medical attention. What is next after treatment is no longer in our hands so long as all efforts to make them survive are exhausted.

In this case, those who may have sustained injuries and survived the accident itself may have died thereafter not because of the crash but because of drowning since after the accident the vehicles plunged into deep water.

It is a difficult ordeal to have died twice so to speak.