All employees deserve to be treated fairly. When that doesn’t happen and the reason has to do with discriminatory actions or practices, legal action is available to the victim. In the event you find yourself trying to deal with instances of discrimination at work, a Charleston gender discrimination lawyer can help.
It can be challenging for someone who has experienced gender discrimination to come forward. At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we’re dedicated to giving victims of discrimination a voice. If you’re thinking about filing a claim, you’ll benefit from having some information about gender discrimination, including the laws that prohibit it.
Gender Discrimination at Work
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), gender-based discrimination happens as a result of an employee’s sex, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. While women are statistically more likely to experience gender discrimination in the workplace, the law prohibiting discriminatory actions apply to all employees—regardless of gender.
According to the International Labor Organization, the gender pay gap is one of the largest reaching discriminatory factors. While equality in pay has improved since 1979, it’s estimated that American women, on average, earn 81% of what their male counterparts make. Fortunately, proving a pay gap isn’t incredibly challenging. What can be difficult, however, is understanding the laws against gender discrimination and how they apply to your situation.
When you work with a Charleston gender discrimination attorney, you’ll have access to the resources and knowledge needed to prove that you were wronged by your employer.
Laws Against Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual discrimination, harassment, and discriminatory practices and policies are prohibited. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the grounds of their gender. In regard to policies and practices, they can be illegal in the event they have a negative impact on the employment of people of a certain gender—particularly if the policy is not job-related or necessary to the operation of a business.
If you believe you’ve been discriminated against by an employer, supervisor, or customer because of your gender, you have the right to file a claim. You may do so with the federal government or the state of West Virginia. Your lawyer will advise you on how best to proceed based on your unique circumstances.
It’s important to note that if you’re filing a claim with the EEOC, you’ll only be eligible if your employer has 15 or more employees and you’ve filed within 180 of the incident.
Determining If You’re a Victim of Gender Discrimination
Gender discrimination is often subtle, which is why proving it has or is happening can be difficult. Examples of gender discrimination include:
- Not being hired or being given a lower-paying position because of your gender
- Being held to different or higher standards because of failing to present in a way that conforms with society’s expectations of feminine and masculine
- Being paid less than a person of a different gender who is similarly or less qualified than you
- Being insulted or called derogatory names or slurs
- Being intentionally or repeatedly called by a name or referred to as a different gender than you identify with
- Being subject to unwelcome sexual advances
In addition to situations like that, gender discrimination can also come in the form of retaliation, employment advertisements, and other employment-related activities. For example, an employer is not allowed to partake in adverse or negative employment actions against an employee who has filed a discrimination complaint.
Those are not the only ways that gender discrimination happens in the workplace. If you believe your rights have been violated, get in touch with an employment law attorney.
Gender Discrimination During Pregnancy
Pregnancy discrimination happens when an applicant or employee is treated unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to either pregnancy or childbirth. Per the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), employers are forbidden from discriminating against an applicant or employee on the basis of employment. This includes hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, and benefits.
In the event an employee is unable to perform their job due to a medical condition related to their pregnancy or childbirth, their employer is required to treat them in the same way it treats any other temporarily disabled employee. This could mean proving light duty, alternative assignments, disability leave, or unpaid leave.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a new parent may be eligible for 12 weeks of leave, paid or unpaid, to care for the child, so long as the employee worked for the employer for 12 months prior to taking leave.
Contact DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC
If you believe you’ve been subjected to discrimination or unfair treatment because of your gender, a Charleston gender discrimination lawyer from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC is prepared to help.
Filing a complaint can be a challenge, which is why it’s important to work with an experienced attorney. With a strong claim, you’ll be able to hold your employer responsible for their actions and send a message that discrimination is wrong.
The sooner you get started, the better your chances are of filing a successful claim. When you schedule a case evaluation with our firm, we’ll review your situation and help you determine how best to proceed. Contact us today for more information.