For over half a century, we have seen massive strides toward gender equality in the workplace. This can be attributed to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the numerous female pioneers that paved the way. Nowadays, women have more opportunities than ever, particularly in fields previously dominated by men. Unfortunately, there are still obstacles in women’s careers, affecting both their roles and pay.
Our Sherman Oaks gender discrimination lawyer at Fraigun Law Group has seen too many companies stand in the way of people’s careers due to their gender or sex. Through our team’s experience, we have helped many identify discrimination in the workplace as well as their legal options. Get in touch today by calling 818-981-1800 for a free case review with an experienced employment law attorney in Sherman Oaks.
What Is Gender Discrimination?
In a workplace setting, gender discrimination refers to a job applicant or employee experiencing less than favorable treatment due to their gender. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, this kind of discrimination can only be considered illegal if the treatment affects the terms and conditions of your job, such as your salary, job responsibilities, and work hours.
How to Identify Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
While both men and women can face discrimination in the workplace, in most cases, women are usually the victims. Regardless, it is illegal for an employer to make assumptions based on gender and/or sex stereotypes and make employment decisions based on their own biases.
Cases of gender discrimination in the workplace usually include:
Inequality in Hiring/Promotion
If you are not employed because the company is only comfortable dealing with men or have been fired while men with fewer qualifications keep their jobs or get promoted, you may have a valid claim. According to a poll by Gallup, 15% of women say they have been unfairly denied promotion due to their sex.
Gender discrimination in terms of pay is considered illegal both under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII. If you have been discriminated against in regard to wages, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance.
Regardless of Title VII making it unlawful for employers to discriminate against people based on their gender and sex in employment, a recent study done by the Pew Research Center reveals that 43% of women in the U.S say they have faced some form of gender or sex discrimination in the workplace.
Most of them report discrimination in pay. According to the U.S Census Bureau, women still make 83 cents for every dollar a man earns.
If your job position is reduced and get less pay while men with lower experience and seniority move up the ladder, you may have a valid gender or sex discrimination case.
There are cases where organizations fail to provide women full benefits, but provide men the option to cover their whole family with the excuse of fitting the ”breadwinner’’ stereotype.
More often than not, gender discrimination goes in tandem with other employment claims such as sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination (where the pregnant mother doesn’t get similar rights to employees with short-term disabilities).
What Are Employee Rights in California?
As an employee in the United States, you’re protected from gender or sex discrimination by the state as well as federal laws. Examples of Federal laws that prohibit gender discrimination in the workplace include the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the Equal Pay Act.
In the state of California, the two primary laws that protect employees against gender discrimination are the Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA) and the California Equal Pay Act.
FEHA specifically considers illegal gender discrimination as:
- The refusal to hire an individual of or representing a particular gender
- The refusal to train an individual based on their sex or gender
- Employee termination due to their gender
Gender Identity & Gender Expression
California employment law also protects both gender identity and expression. As such, employers are mandated to allow employees to appear or dress in a manner consistent with their gender identity and/or gender expression.
Gender expression is the individual’s gender-related behavior and appearance whether stereotypically associated with their assigned sex at birth or not. This means people who consider themselves the sex opposite to their original gender (transgender) and those who outwardly appear or dress as the opposite sex (cross-dressers) are entitled to the same rights against sex or gender discrimination.
Employers are allowed to implement reasonable workplace dress, grooming, or appearance standards, but the policies should be within dress guidelines and should allow employees to dress or appear in a way consistent with their gender expression or identity. An LGBT discrimination lawyer can help if you were discriminated against based on your gender identity.
How Should I Handle Gender Discrimination in the Workplace?
If you believe you have been discriminated against at the workplace based on your gender, there are steps you can take to make sure it stops and that you are fairly compensated for the suffering experienced. The team at Fraigun Law Group encourages doing the following:
- File a complaint to HR or management. If the employer does not take any action, you can proceed to make a gender discrimination claim with the Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH).
- If adverse actions like a demotion, wrongful termination, or refusal to hire due to gender were the reason, it is advisable to seek consultation from a seasoned employment law firm like Fraigun Law Group.
- Following a consultation with the attorney, you can file an administrative charge with the DFEH and get a right-to-sue letter. This is referred to as administrative exhaustion. Our team should handle this process on your behalf.
If the claim doesn’t get resolved early on, your attorney will file a lawsuit. That’s why it is imperative to consult an attorney with years of experience in gender and sex discrimination cases.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing Administrative Charges?
In California, there’s a set period where you need to take legal action following an employment-related incident. This is known as a statute of limitations. When it comes to gender or sex discrimination in the workplace, the DFEH agency in California allows one year from the date of the incident.
However, it is never advisable to wait this long as proving discrimination is usually tricky. Contact a lawyer immediately after the discrimination occurs.
If you have faced discrimination at the workplace due to your gender, waiting will only make your case weaker. Our team is seasoned in this field and will help file an administrative charge with the DFEH and garner the necessary evidence to make a solid case.
What Can a Sherman Oaks Gender Discrimination Lawyer Do to Help?
In addition to the right to report a gender discrimination matter to HR, supervisor, or management, filing a grievance if you are a union member, you can also file a claim. However, proving gender discrimination can be tricky given it can ruin the reputation and bottom line of the company.
At Fraigun Law Group, we have years of experience in the field and can help you seek compensation for things like emotional distress and lost wages. Seeking legal assistance can also go a long way in forcing the company to change its practices and make sure the workplace is safe for other employees.
Our team is prepared to garner evidence, file a claim, and protect you from the company so that you do not have to fear retaliation actions. Gender discrimination is illegal and we are always ready to protect the rights of employees. Call our offices at 818-981-1800 to schedule a free consultation with a Sherman Oaks gender discrimination lawyer and learn more about your legal options.