Sex Discrimination Lawyer in Birmingham, Alabama
Gender discrimination in the workplace is prohibited under federal law. It is illegal for employers to treat applicants and employees unequally based on their gender. Sex discrimination can take many forms, from the way employers recruit job prospects to how much workers are paid, how they are treated on the job, and many others.
Although women have made a lot of progress since the workplace equality movement began, there is still a long way to go. According to a recent Pew Research study, more than four out of 10 working women in the United States say they have faced gender discrimination on the job. And unfortunately, far too many organizations fail to take this issue seriously.
If you or someone close to you has been the victim of sex discrimination in the workplace, you are not alone, and there are legal remedies available. The best place to start is to speak with an experienced discrimination attorney to review your case and go over your rights and options.
Attorney Kira Fonteneau understands the frustration women feel when they are not treated equally at work. Since 2005, Kira has been a strong legal advocate on behalf of individuals in Alabama who have faced workplace discrimination. Kira has extensive knowledge of this area of the law, and she has a successful track record with even the most complex cases. She works closely with her clients, putting her in-depth experience to work to identify the best legal avenue toward obtaining appropriate relief, while in the process working to protect and preserve their livelihood.
Call Our Office Today at (404) 383-5720 to Schedule a Free Consultation with Attorney Kira Fonteneau!
Examples of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
In order to have a sex discrimination case, you must show that your employer treated you differently because of your gender, and that this treatment has negatively affected the terms and conditions of your employment in some way.
There are numerous examples of sexual discrimination that happen in the workplace, here are some of the most common:
Discriminatory Recruiting Methods
An organization has a job opening for a position you are very well qualified for. But for some reason, you are not aware of this position. Why? Because the only place the job was advertised was in Men's Health magazine. Or maybe they ran a digital add on Facebook as well, but they used the platform's targeting tools to make the job opening show up only in the timeline of certain individuals, all men.
Not Receiving a Job Offer
Maybe you did learn about the job opening, and you were even called in for an interview. But they ended up offering the job to a male who is less qualified for the position that you are.
This is the one that usually comes to mind when people think of sex discrimination. It is well established by federal law that women are entitled to equal pay for equal work. So, when a woman is making less money doing the same or similar job than a man is doing, this is a violation of law. Employers sometimes try to hide this type of discrimination by switching up job titles and altering job descriptions, but all other factors being equal, if a woman's core responsibilities are the same as a man in the same organization, she should be getting paid the same.
Inequality is not always limited to what a man and woman are paid, it may extend to benefits as well. One common example would be requiring women to use up their vacation and sick days to go on maternity leave while allowing a man to use long-term disability benefits for a workplace injury without having to use any of his paid days.
Being Passed over for a Promotion
You have been with the same organization for a long time. You have been loyal, and you have served the company well. An opportunity for advancement comes along – a new position that includes a healthy salary increase and better benefits, but your employer gives the position to a male who is not as qualified and has less experience with the company.
Unequal Training Opportunities
Getting to the point of qualifying for that coveted promotion might not be as easy for females within an organization. This is because some organizations provide special training only to one gender, denying a large part of their workforce the opportunity to enhance their job skills and better their careers.
There are times when an organization has to downsize. But how do they decide who keeps their job and who gets let go? Hopefully, this is based on a fair and uniform standard. But unfortunately, organizations sometimes decide to let female employees go while keeping male employees who are less qualified and have lower seniority.
What Can You Do about Sex Discrimination at Work?
There are two federal laws that can form the basis for a gender discrimination lawsuit; the Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EPA only covers pay disparities based on gender, while the Civil Rights Act covers this and other aspects of employment; such as hiring, firing, promotion, and termination.
There are some instances in which both laws would apply, and others in which the only avenue would be the Civil Rights Act. In cases where both laws are applicable, you can file under either act or both. There are two significant advantages of using the Equal Pay Act:
- Unlike the Civil Rights Act, you can file an action under the EPA without first filing a complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC);
- Actions filed under the EPA are easier to win, because they do not require the plaintiff to prove that the employer's discriminatory actions were intentional.
The main drawback of using the EPA is that you are only allowed to ask for economic damages (i.e., lost wages). With the Civil Rights Act, you can also ask for non-economic damages (i.e., pain and suffering). Before moving forward with a legal action, it is best to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each potential path with a qualified attorney.
Contact an Experienced Alabama Gender Discrimination Attorney
There are many forms of sexual discrimination at work, and sometimes, those who are facing this feel like they have nowhere to turn to improve their situation. Attorney Kira Fonteneau understands what you are going through, and she has the experience, knowledge, and skills to help put an end to this discrimination and obtain the legal relief you are entitled to. Kira can meet with you to assess your case and advise you of your options, so you can make the most informed decision on how you wish to proceed.
To schedule your free consultation with attorney Kira Fonteneau, call our office today at (404) 383-5720 or send us a message through our online contact form.