Throughout 2015, individuals and companies took efforts to tackle gender employment discrimination across the country including the wage gap, the lack of paid leave and professional sexism. According to the Atlantic, gender discrimination took front-and-center in 2015 with high profile cases involving gender discrimination and parties such as venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the UPS Store, Netflix, as well as famous celebrities advocating for equality, such as Jennifer Lawrence and Patricia Arquette. It is important to know and understand your rights under federal and state laws in order to protect yourself and speak up if you are experiencing gender discrimination in the workplace.
What is Gender Discrimination?
If an employer treats its male and female employees differently based on gender, gender discrimination has occurred. One example would be an employer who pays a male more than a female worker to do the same job, with the same responsibilities, and within the same workplace settings. This treatment is prohibited under federal discrimination laws. Unfortunately, more often than not, women are the victims of gender discrimination in the workplace.
Many people are often unaware that an employer is forbidden to ask during an initial interview – or any time during employment for that matter – if a prospective candidate or a current employee plans on becoming pregnant. In the same manner, an employer cannot refuse to offer the same benefits or pass an employee up for a promotion based on pregnancy (or even the possibility of it occurring). A federal law known as the Family and Medical Leave Act provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. This protection allows the employee to keep the same continuation of group health insurance with the employer as if the worker had never taken time off.
Civil Rights Act
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, commonly referred to as Title VII, forbids employment discrimination based on several characteristics, including race, religion, color, sex, and national origin. Illegal discrimination may be committed by an employer while someone is an actual employee of the company, but it may also occur when an individual is applying for employment. If an employer makes an employment-related decision that affects pay rate, whether or not to hire a potential candidate, promote or demote a worker, welfare benefits or job a person’s title – and this decision is based on the characteristics listed in Title VII – the employer has violated federal law and likely state law as well.
In addition to the federal government, the New York State Division of Human Rights and NYS Department of Labor prohibit employment discrimination based on the factors listed in Title VII, among others. A victim of gender or any other type of employment discrimination must file his or her claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Help is Available
If you or someone you know has been the victim gender discrimination or any other form of employment discrimination, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Accordingly, contact the knowledgeable employment discrimination lawyers in NY at White, Ricotta & Marks, P.C. today. Our attorneys have years of litigation and settlement experience representing clients nationwide. Call (347)-464-8694 today for your free initial case evaluation.