Sex discrimination in the workplace is prohibited under federal law. It is illegal for employers to treat applicants and employees unequally based on these classes. 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.
If you or someone close to you has experienced 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.
The sex discrimination attorneys of Barrett & Farahany have extensive knowledge of this area of the law, and we have a successful track record with even the most complex cases. We work closely with our clients, putting our in-depth experience to work to identify the best legal avenue toward obtaining appropriate relief while working to protect and preserve their livelihood.
In order to have a sex discrimination case, you must show that your employer treated you differently because of your sex, 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:
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 ad 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.
Maybe you did learn about the job opening and were even called in for an interview. However, they ended up offering the job to a male who is less qualified for the position than 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.
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.
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. Unfortunately, organizations sometimes decide to let female employees go while keeping male employees who are less qualified and have lower seniority.
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:
The main drawback of using the EPA is that you can only ask for economic damages, such as lost wages.
With the Civil Rights Act, you can also ask for non-economic damages, like 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.
There are many forms of sexual discrimination at work, and sometimes, those facing this feel like they have nowhere to turn to improve their situation. At Barrett & Farahany, we understand what you are going through. We have the experience, knowledge, and skills to help put an end to this discrimination and obtain the legal relief you are entitled to. Our Alabama and Georgia sex discrimination attorneys can assess your case and advise you of your options, so you can make the most informed decision on how you wish to proceed.
Contact us to schedule a consultation today.
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