In May 2010, a transgender person who is now living as a woman but was born male sued a Macy's store in Torrance, claiming she was unfairly treated and humiliated by her co-employees and managers.

According to reports, Jason Araquel sued the retailer for harassment, gender discrimination, wrongful termination, and retaliation.

Araquel's move shows how employment and labor law provisions in LA can protect employees. These laws give them the right to fight for their rights if they feel that they were unjustly treated in the workplace.

Implementing Employment Laws

The Department of Labor (DOL) is the agency responsible for enforcing labor laws. Here are two examples of laws that cover people who are included in the employment sector:

· Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)- FLSA establishes overtime pay, minimum wage, child labor standards, and recordkeeping. It covers both part-time and full-time employees in private sectors and in local, State, and Federal governments.

· Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)- This law can help employees who need to take time off from their work due to family responsibilities. Under it, covered employers should allow an eligible worker to take an unpaid leave, which can last up to 12 weeks, for different reasons including the following:

§ Care or birth of the employee's newborn child

§ When the employee is not fit to work due to a serious medical condition that he is suffering from

§ To take care of his spouse, parent , or child who has a serious health condition


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the agency that handles employees' claims, especially those that are related to discrimination. DOL and EEOC are the two agencies that were tasked to govern employee rights in the workplace.

The main difference between the two is that EEOC is focused on implementing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is the law that bans discrimination on the basis of an employee or applicant's gender, race, religion, pregnancy, genetic information, age, national origin, disability, or color. Meanwhile, DOL covers other issues like wages and overtime pay.

This agency monitors employees who have at least 15 workers. Most employment agencies and labor unions are also governed by it.

EEOC has the right to investigate discrimination claims against employers who are covered by it. If an unlawful action really occurred, the agency will help the parties involved reach a settlement. It can also file a case in court to protect the public's interest and rights of everyone if attempts to settle the claim were unsuccessful.