Women have been fighting for equal rights since the middle of the nineteenth century. The fight clearly is not over. While women comprise over 50% of the population, women lag substantially behind men when it comes to their representation in leadership and management positions in all industries. Women continue to collide into the proverbial “glass ceiling” and nationwide are paid only 80 cents for every dollar paid to men.
Gender discrimination is unlawful. If you suspect your employer has discriminated against you on the basis of gender or sex, or that you are paid less than other employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work, we encourage you to contact us to see how we can help. You may be entitled to compensation. We will evaluate your claims, explain the discrimination laws and your legal options, and propose a strategy to obtain the justice you deserve.
We handle all gender discrimination cases on a contingency basis. That means you pay us nothing unless and until we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. Contact us online or at (213) 863-4276 for a free, confidential consultation.
Recognizing Gender and Sex Discrimination in the Workplace
Gender and sex discrimination generally occurs in one of two ways in the workplace
Intentional gender discrimination occurs where the employer makes an adverse employment decision, like termination or a failure to hire, because of the applicant’s or employee’s gender or sex.
Disparate Impact Discrimination
California and federal law also prohibit employers from implementing a gender-neutral policy or practice that has a negative impact on the member of one gender when the policy is not job related or necessary to the operation of the business.
Example: a sausage-making plant implemented a pre-employment strength test that required applicants to carry 35-pound weights back and forth, lifting them to heights of 65 inches, for seven minutes. More than 95% of male applicants passed the test, but fewer than 40% of female applicants passed it. This “gender-neutral” policy unlawfully discriminated against women because the strength required for the test was unnecessary to perform the positions at the company.
Gender discrimination can be subtle. Common examples include:
- You are denied important assignments, or valuable accounts/cases, because your supervisor assumes that your childcare responsibilities will prevent you from meeting deadlines.
- You are denied promotions despite having the required qualifications and strong job performance;
- You are excluded from leadership training or other opportunities for leadership experience.
- You are denied a sales executive position because, although you have experience and excellent qualifications, the company believes its long-time clients are more comfortable dealing with men.
- You are paid less than your male counterpart for substantially similar work.
If you suspect that your employer has discriminated against you on the basis of your gender or sex, a Los Angeles discrimination lawyer can help. Contact us online or at (213) 863-4276 for a free, confidential consultation.
What You Can Do Now About Gender Discrimination
If you believe you may have a claim for gender or sex discrimination, you can take a number of steps to protect yourself and preserve your legal rights.
Keep a journal of the discriminatory acts and harassment you’ve experienced because of your gender or sex, including dates, places, times, names of the persons involved and names of witnesses. Keep this journal at home or in a safe place, and not at work.
Report It in Writing
Many employers have gender discrimination policies in their employee handbook. If your employer does, follow the procedure in the handbook for reporting gender discrimination. If your employer does not, make a written report to your supervisor or someone in human resources. This report does not need to be long or formal. An email will work fine.
Keep copies of emails and other documents that you have sent or received from your employer regarding your complaint. Keep copies of emails and other documents, too, that you have received that you suspect are discriminatory or harassing. If your employer has an employee handbook, obtain a copy. Also, keep copies of positive performance reviews and letters. Keep these records at home or in a safe place, and not at work.
No one wants to experience gender discrimination or harassment at work. We understand that. But employees who quit before reporting gender discrimination will have a more difficult time winning a lawsuit. If you’re experiencing a stressful workplace, talk to an experienced employment attorney about how to preserve your legal claims.
Take Care of Yourself
Seek professional counseling or treatment if you are experiencing emotional distress, anxiety, depression or other psychological symptoms because of gender discrimination.