In today’s society, everyone agrees that women are equal to men and are entitled to all the same rights and benefits as men. However, gender discrimination in the workplace remains quite common.
About four-in-ten working women (42%) in the United States say they have faced discrimination on the job because of their gender. It is frustrating and unfair to be refused of position or promotion only because of your gender.
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Definition of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
Sex or gender discrimination in employment involves treating someone unfavorably because of the person’s gender, whether they are applying for a job or are a current employee.
Women and men have the right to secure and perform their jobs free of unwanted demands for romantic or sexual relationships, or unwanted communications or behaviors of a sexual nature that interfere with their ability to work.
Signs of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
- Discriminatory Pay: This is one of the more obvious examples of gender discrimination in the workplace but continues to be a challenge to eradicate. Women are still regularly paid less than men to perform the same job. Women have been known to receive lower offers because employers bank on the fact that they will be less inclined to counter the offer or try to negotiate. Remember, this is totally illegal. If you are paid less than your male coworker with the same skills and position, it is best to speak with a NYC workplace discrimination lawyer.
- Discriminatory interview questions: While federal, state, and city laws prohibit prospective employers from asking certain questions that primarily relate to women, it is illegal to ask any job applicant about their gender, except in certain circumstances, or where there is no intent to discriminate. The interview process should be similar for both genders, but women are frequently expected to field different types of questions. Women are often asked if they are married, have children, or if they intend to have children. These types of family questions are illegal, and more importantly have no bearing on a person’s ability to do a job well. However, many employers predicate hiring potential employees on the notion that they might need to utilize maternity leave. If you believe you were denied a job due to the way you answered questions relating to your intention to have children, you should contact a discrimination lawyer and get a free consultation.
- Position Bias: Position bias is the belief that a person of a certain gender is less or more suitable for a certain position, such as thinking that women are more suited to work as secretaries than men. Similarly, it is also position bias to refuse to hire a woman into the position of security guard because “a woman does not suit this job.” This sort of sex discrimination in the workplace is often based on negative stereotypes about each gender. For example, men might be seen as stronger and less emotionally intelligent, whereas women are seen as weaker but more emotionally intelligent.
- Discrimination in Benefits: This occurs when an employer provides male employees with more benefits (such as paid vacation, sick leave, company car etc.) while female employees with similar skills and positions are not entitled to such benefits. A skilled NYC gender discrimination lawyer can help you to negotiate with your employer and to receive the benefits to which you are entitled.
- Different Responsibilities: This occurs when male and female employees in the same position have markedly different responsibilities.
- Glass Ceiling or Discrimination in Promotion: The term “glass ceiling” specifically refers to an artificial barrier based on attitudes or bias that prevents qualified women from advancing into mid-level and senior-level management positions. In other words, women can advance so far, but hit an invisible barrier and can advance no further. If you feel that you have been discriminated against based on a “glass ceiling” at your company, you should consult with a workplace discrimination lawyer.
- Termination: When an employer is downsizing and only fires female employees, while leaving all the male employees with same skills and expertise in their positions.
- Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination, and the gender of the person who is harassed and the gender of the harasser does not matter.
Remember: gender discrimination affects all genders. Discrimination against males in the workplace does occur and can often be the result of a bias towards females or bias against males.
Patients in hospitals, medical offices and nursing homes may have a bias towards female nurses who are often seen as more caring and nurturing.
Because of this bias towards female nurses, male nurses may not be considered for new positions or work opportunities leading to less training opportunities and career development.
Some gender discrimination cases are obvious, while others could be very subtle. It takes the trained eye of gender discrimination attorney to determine if there is gender discrimination.
If you believe that you are a victim of gender discrimination, call the Law Office of Yuriy Moshes, P.C. for a free consultation.
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Examples of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
- A female applies for a job as a sales executive. Although she has experience and excellent qualifications, she is not hired because some of the company’s long-time clients are more comfortable dealing with men.
- A company has both a male and female secretary, but the female secretary is constantly asked to run errands for the male executives. The male secretary is not asked the same “favors” and is allowed to remain at his desk throughout the day.
- A female employee finds out she makes less than her male counterparts, despite working with the company for a longer period of time. When she brings up this concern to her boss, she is called “ungrateful” and let go from the company for asking for more money.
- You work at a large shipping company where employees hold several different job classifications. You notice that most of the sorting jobs, which are low-paid and offer little opportunity for promotion, are held by women, while most of the better-paying office positions are held by men.
- You are a woman who works in the sales department of a major retail chain. You have short hair and dress in pants most days. Although you meet deadlines and sales quotas, you receive deficient performance evaluations, which include comments about your lack of femininity and “aggressive” nature. Men with similar personality traits and with less impressive sales records to your own receive above average performance evaluations.You are required to use your sick and vacation leave to take time off for your pregnancy because your employer does not provide disability leave for pregnancy but does provide such leave to employees with other temporarily disabling health conditions. A male coworker was on leave for six months because he had a heart attack and he was able to access the benefits under the disability plan.
If you encountered anything similar to the above-described examples or feel that you might have been discriminated against on the basis of gender, consult with a NYC gender discrimination lawyer.
Gender Discrimination Laws
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on the employee’s sex/gender, and covers all private employers, state and local governments, and educational institutions that employ 15 or more individuals.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency responsible for investigating charges of job discrimination related to sex or gender in workplaces of 15 or more employees.
Filing an EEOC claim could be a complicated issue, especially if you are not sure what actions of your employer you should consider as discrimination. Call the Law Office of Yuriy Moshes, P.C for a free consultation.
The New York City Human Rights Law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, age, perceived age, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, gender (including sexual harassment), gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, partnership status, pregnancy and caregiver status.
All employees are covered for retaliation for making complaints about the aforementioned types of discrimination, so long as the employee has a good faith reasonable belief that such discrimination has occurred.
The New York City Human Rights Law covers all employers with four or more employees. However, any claim for gender-based harassment can be brought against any employer, including those employing fewer than four employees.
The New York State Human Rights Law is the New York State law that outlaws gender discrimination in the workplace. The New York State Human Rights Law covers all employers with four or more employees.
However, similar to the NYC Human Rights Law, only in the context of sexual harassment claims, the NYS Human Rights Law covers all employers regardless of size.
Remember: not only is sex discrimination against the law; so is retaliating against an employee for reporting sex discrimination, opposing an employer’s discriminatory practices, or participating in an investigation or legal action related to discrimination.
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What to do if you become a victim of gender discrimination?
Although gender discrimination cases may look like simple cases, remember that every situation is unique and it requires the trained eye of gender discrimination attorney to see if you have a case.
It is important to weigh the pros and cons associated with pursuing whatever actions you choose to take before taking that action.
The NYC gender discrimination lawyers at the Law Office of Yuriy Moshes, P.C. will help you evaluate your options.
Here are actions you should take if you face gender discrimination at work:
- First of all, it is important to document every case of discriminatory actions that were taken against you. Write down dates, places, people, times, and possible witnesses to the discrimination. If possible, ask your co-workers or colleagues to write down what they saw or heard, especially if the same thing is happening to them. Remember that others may (and probably will) read this written record at some point. It is a good idea to keep the record at home or in some other safe place. Do not keep the record at work.
- Report the incident to your employer. If you are afraid of possible retaliation, it is better to consult a lawyer before raising the subject with your employer. Workplace discrimination lawyers can advice you on how to talk to your manager or HR about your case. We advise you to report this in paper so later you could use the report as a basis for your claim to EEOC or in court.
- File an EEOC Charge of Discrimination. Remember, that there is a deadline for filing a claim is 300 days after you experienced discrimination. In cases where it is hard to determine the deadline, you need to consult a gender discrimination attorney to see how much time you have.
- You can also file a lawsuit against your employer. Since gender discrimination is a complex topic and your employer will have a lawyer to represent it in court, you should also consult a lawyer before taking any action.
What Remedies are Available for a Person who Experienced Gender Discrimination?
The court may force your employer to pay you:
- back pay
- front pay
- emotional distress damages
- attorneys’ fees
- punitive damages (damages to punish the employer)
The court can also order the employer to remedy the victim of discrimination by:
- hiring the employee
- promoting the employee
- reinstating the employee
- other actions that will make an individual “whole” (in the condition he or she would have been but for the discrimination)
The employer may also be required to take corrective or preventive actions with regard to the source of the discrimination and minimize the chance it will happen again, as well as discontinue the specific discriminatory practices involved in the case.
If you face any type of gender discrimination at workplace, call today for a free consultation from one of our NYC gender discrimination lawyers. Lawyers at the Law Office of Yuriy Moshes, P.C. help victims of workplace gender discrimination in the greater New York City area including all its boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island) as well as Northern New Jersey, Long Island, and Upstate New York.