Gender discrimination occurs every day in the United States.
Despite laws against it, some employers treat male and female employees differently. They pay different wages, offer different benefits and opportunities, and discipline male and female employees differently.
Doing so is illegal, but the practice continues, even in this day and age.
If you're paid differently than a co-worker in the same role or with the same responsibilities, or you suspect your gender has affected your pay, you have a right to take action.
How Do Gender Discrimination Laws Affect Wages?
Employers must pay males and females equally for equal work. If it can be shown this is not the case and employers are paying different wages based on gender, they are breaking the law.
Furthermore, employers are legally required to raise the pay rate of the lower paid employer – not reduce the wages of the one earning more.
Despite these laws, data still shows that women earn less than men and that women are less likely to be hired for certain jobs. The so-called glass ceiling is alive and well, and women are regularly victimized by pay rates in the workplace.
If many cases, employers claim a higher paid employee has more qualifications or seniority, when in fact it is a case of gender discrimination. An experienced attorney can help you prove your case and ensure you are not treated unfairly in the workplace based on your gender.
Gender Discrimination Unrelated to Pay
Wages and pay are not the only issue related to gender discrimination.
There are many instances in which an employee, usually female, is treated differently based on stereotypical gender rules. For instance, if you are a woman applying for a job and denied that job because of the age of your children, it can be a case of gender discrimination – especially if it can be shown the employer hired men with young children.
Gender discrimination might also be subtle.
Some employers don't even realize they are discriminating until a well-meaning applicant or employee draws attention to the problem. They might assume a woman is too weak to perform physical labor and believe they are “looking out for” or protecting the female applicant by denying her the job.
Regardless of the intention, well-meaning or otherwise, if a decision is based on an applicant's or employee's gender, the employer is breaking the law.
If you have been the victim of gender discrimination in the workplace, you have a right to take legal action and ensure your rights are protected.
Your Rights are Protected by the Law
Discrimination in the workplace, including gender and sex-based discrimination, is illegal.
According to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers cannot discriminate against employees because of their gender. Despite the strides society has made since the 1960s, there are still problems with gender discrimination.
Gender discrimination laws apply to:
- Hiring decisions
- Pay rates
If decisions about any of the above issues are made based on gender, an employer is breaking the law.
How Do You Know You're a Victim of Gender Discrimination?
- Not hired because of your gender?
- Not promoted because of your gender?
- Told a job was “man's work” or “women's work”?
- Excluded from an important meeting or work project?
- Asked during an interview if you intend to become a mother any time soon?
- Paid less than a counterpart of the opposite gender performing the same duties?
- Asked to dress differently or perform certain tasks based on your gender?
- Terminated and replaced by an employee of the opposite gender?
- Disciplined or treated differently after reporting concerns about gender discrimination to human resources?
You've likely been a victim of gender discrimination
The first step in fighting gender discrimination in the workplace is to file a case with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This can be a complicated process, which is why it's so important to work with an experienced law firm. In some cases, additional action is needed.
If you believe you are a victim of gender or sex-based discrimination, or you are interested in learning more about your rights regarding discrimination in the workplace, we can help. Contact Andrus Wagstaff PC to learn more.