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Gender discrimination encompasses all acts of discrimination that are based on a person’s gender. This definition seems fairly straightforward, but gender discrimination is often misunderstood and is not always easy to identify. As a result of its ambiguity, especially in the workplace, many individuals who are the victims of gender discrimination don’t even recognize when it has happened to them.
If you were the victim of gender discrimination in the workplace, you may be entitled to damages for:
In the vast majority of cases, gender discrimination tends to happen to female employees. Naturally, some instances of gender discrimination will be more difficult to identify than others, but the most historically common example of gender discrimination is when a man and a woman do the same job for noticeably different wages.
It’s important to understand that an employer cannot use an employee’s gender, or gender related stereotypes, to justify treating an employee differently, fire an employee, or refuse to hire an employee.
Gender discrimination basically means that an employer has treated an employee differently specifically because that individual is a man or a woman. If an employee was rejected for employment, fired, or harmed in the course of employment because of her gender — or perceived gender — it’s likely that she has suffered gender discrimination in the workplace.
Is it discriminatory when male employees are paid more than female employees?
Absolutely. According to Title VII and the Equal Pay Act (EPA), when it involves pay or benefits, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of a person’s sex. These laws cover all forms of compensation including:
The Equal Pay Act (EPA) requires that all men and women must be given the same pay for the same job while working in the same establishment. This does not mean that their jobs need to be exactly the same, but they do need to be significantly similar. A significantly similar job is based on the actual job duties and not the job title.
As mentioned, in the vast majority of cases, gender discrimination tends to happen to female employees. Below are several examples of potentially illegal instances of gender discrimination that women often face in the workplace:
Pay 1) You are thrilled because after years of working as an apprentice in a bakery you are finally a full fledged baker. Recently, another male baker with comparable work experience is hired to work alongside you, but he is paid more than you. 2) Or maybe you are one of the most successful salespeople at your solar power company, but are inexplicably transferred to an area that is known to yield poor sales. Meanwhile, a new salesman with sales that are much lower than yours is handed your entire client base and territory. Now, the new salesman is making much more in commissions than you are.
Hiring, Firing, Promotions 1) You applied for a management position at a bank that you are very qualified for. However, you are not offered the position because it is well known that most of the bank’s clients prefer doing business with men. 2) Or perhaps you were laid off after your company restructured, and several men in the same position as yours, albeit with less experience, were able to keep their jobs. 3) Finally, maybe you are a stellar litigator at your law firm. For the past three years, you’ve been honored as employee of the year. You applied for promotions throughout those three years, yet were passed up every time, while those sought after benefits went to less qualified male employees.
Benefits Your employer’s health insurance does not offer coverage for your spouse because they assume he has his own benefits. On the other hand, all your male coworkers’ wives are covered by your employer’s health plan.
Job Classification Before having your first child, you worked at a real estate company for five years. You worked hard and put in countless hours of overtime, cementing your reputation as one of the hardest working employees. Once you had your baby and came back to work, you inform your employer that you can no longer work as many long hours. In response, your employer demotes you and cuts your pay. Meanwhile, other male coworkers who are working in similar positions as you are allowed to work less overtime hours, and are also accommodated for personal reasons.
According to Title VII and the Equal Pay Act (EPA), when it involves pay or benefits, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of a person’s sex. Sexual harassment is another common form of sex discrimination which is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Title VII does not actually use the phrase “sexual harassment,” but courts have long held that sexual harassment is an illegal form of sex discrimination.
While females tend to be victimized more by gender discrimination, it does happen to males as well. Furthermore, gender discrimination occurs across all demographics.
A woman is just as likely to be passed over for a promotion at a sandwich shop because of gender discrimination as one that is being considered for a managerial position at a Fortune 500 company. Gender discrimination is a serious and complex issue that affects every social and economic class. Fortunately, there are protections in place to combat it.
Can I sue my employer for gender discrimination in California?
Yes. However, in order to successfully pursue a gender discrimination claim, you need to prove that you were treated differently than other employees in similar situations as your own. However, the difference in the way you were treated must be because of your gender.
Gender discrimination protections also extend to transgender individuals. The term “transgender” is often used as a broad way of describing anyone who does not conform to gender stereotypes when it comes to their gender identity or gender expressions. Transgendered people typically must deal with serious instances of discrimination in the workplace because they do not conform to traditional stereotypes or gender roles.
It wasn’t long ago that courts across the board held the position that transgender people were not entitled to protections under Title VII (the law that makes sex discrimination illegal). Recently, the courts have decided that transgender persons are entitled to protections against discrimination under Title VII, as well as any other applicable sex discrimination laws. This means that they can also take legal action for gender discrimination
Start by discussing the issue with your with your supervisor. Describe how the behavior you were subjected to makes you uncomfortable. Provide specific details and discuss how the harassment or discrimination negatively affects your ability to complete your necessary job duties. Ideally, your employer will take you seriously and address the issue.
If your employer denies your right to work free of gender harassment or discrimination, you must file a formal complaint with your employer. This is important because:
1) Your manager or direct supervisor may not take the problem seriously, but your employer’s Human Resources (HR) department might make the necessary adjustments. Filing an internal complaint with your employer also gives them a final opportunity to do the right thing before resorting to legal action.
2) A formal complaint puts your employer on notice about your gender discrimination claim. Filing a formal complaint shows you attempted to address the situation before taking legal action. If your complaint isn’t investigated or resolved, your employer’s failure to address the issue will be crucial to supporting your claim. Further, your employer may be liable for punitive damages if you gave them a chance to address the problem and they did nothing.
If your employer doesn’t resolve your complaint, your next step is to file a charge with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California’s antidiscrimination
agency. It is crucial that you first file a charge with the EEOC if you intend to preserve your right to sue for disability discrimination.
Typically, once they have concluded with their investigation, the agency will issue you a right to sue letter. This letter gives you the right to proceed in court with your claim. You can file a lawsuit against your employer once you have a right to sue letter. If you haven’t already consulted with an experienced disability discrimination lawyer, this is the time to do so.
Can I get fired for reporting a possible gender discrimation?
No. If an employee was rejected for employment, fired, or harmed in the course of their employment because of their gender — or perceived gender — it’s likely that they have suffered gender discrimination in the workplace.
The best course of action is to secure legal advice immediately upon determining that unfair treatment has or is occurring at your workplace. The skilled gender discrimination lawyers at West Coast Employment Lawyers will do everything possible to construct effective arguments to win your case. Our attorneys are committed to helping victims of gender discrimination receive full vindication, fair compensation, and the peace of mind they deserve during what should be one of the most enjoyable and memorable times of their lives.
If you or a loved one has been wrongfully discriminated against or terminated at work due to their gender, immediately contact West Coast Employment Lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation with a gender discrimination lawyer at our firm. You can reach our legal team 24/7 by calling 1-800-247-9235 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/damages https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/epa.cfm https://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/punitive_damages https://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm https://www.eeoc.gov/ https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/ https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/obtain-a-right-to-sue/