Whether you are an employee or an independent contractor, it is important that you understand your rights under the law, particularly when it comes to discrimination. That is a lesson that ride service Uber is still learning as three of its engineers file a lawsuit alleging sex and race-based discrimination under the federal Equal Pay Act, a law that Nevada employers must follow as well. As recently reported by CNN Money, the three employees contend that due to their status as Latina women, they are not compensated sufficiently when compared to other employees performing a similar job.
They cite several factors as evidence for the claims, providing other employees with some sense of what they too might look for when they suspect they may not be compensated fairly. If a scenario does not look right, there may well be a problem and reason to contact an attorney as a result.
In this case, the Uber employees in question note that the company’s evaluative stacking system disadvantages them due to its reliance upon a rating system that undervalues and fails to recognize their performance. They also note that consideration of prior wages has the effect of disadvantaging them to the extent that they were previously underpaid. Why does this matter?
The suit alleges that these three employees, “have suffered and will continue to suffer harm, including but not limited to lost earnings, lost benefits, and other financial loss, as well as non-economic damages.”
For its part, Uber has not yet officially commented upon the siutation. For employees who may find themselves subject to similar treatment, they should know that Uber is not the only company that may systematically disadvantage a protected class of employees when it comes to compensation.
What to do in the Face of Discrimination
Employment-based discrimination is not always obvious. Knowing state and federal laws alike, most employers do not set out to deliberately discriminate. That said, they also endeavor to retain and advance those whom they perceive to be the most capable and valuable employees. To every extent different treatment becomes inevitable, inequity itself remains possible. There is plenty of room for discriminatory impulses or practices to cloud the judgement of employers.
This may become evident when it comes to your job duties, perks associated with said duties, promotions and other opportunities, and of course how much money you make. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone if you have been treated unfairly due to factors over which you have no control. You might be responsible for the quality of your work, but you should never be treated differently due to the color of your skin. To that end, Nevada law recognizes several categories that are protected from discrimination. They include race, color, sex or gender, age (if over 40), disability, national origin, or religion. If you are distinguished on the basis thereof and treated unfairly as a result, the law is on your side.
HKM Employment Attorneys has the national pedigree and experience to handle any case, and a Las Vegas office that additionally specializes in Nevada law. We are committed to representing employees professionally and successfully, taking their interests seriously in the process. To set up an appointment, simply fill out the online form located here.