“Day Without Women” Marches Highlight the Contributions Women Make to America’s Economy
On March 8, 2017, women and men across the nation opted not to show up for work and instead, to attend rallies, marches, and other feminist gatherings to show support for the Day Without a Woman. By staying home from work, strikers demonstrated the contributions women make to our economy through their paid positions as well as the unpaid emotional and domestic labor performed in the workplace. Gender discrimination continues to be a pervasive issue in the American workplace despite laws enacted to curb it, such as the Civil Rights Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
How are Women Overlooked and Mistreated in the Workplace?
Discrimination can take many forms. Some forms of discrimination are more overt than others, but all can create work environments where it is impossible for victims to effectively perform their job duties.
One form of discrimination that women commonly face in the workplace is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can involve inappropriate jokes, objectification of the victim or other women, and exposing the victim to inappropriate images or discussions. This is known as hostile work environment sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a supervisor attempts to bribe employees into engaging in sexual contact in exchange for favorable treatment.
Women can also face bias in hiring or promotion decisions. An employer might assume that a woman of child-bearing age will take maternity leave or even quit her job in order to focus on raising a family. Asking job applicants about their familial aspirations is illegal, as is terminating an employee for being pregnant or refusing to hire a woman with children.
Subconscious bias about women’s roles can also impact the work women are expected to do in workplace environments in addition to their job duties. For example, the women of an office might be expected to clean up communal areas or handle the planning of office parties, cutting into their time to do their actual jobs.
Is It Discrimination?
Not all instances of unfairness or crude behavior in the workplace are instances of discrimination. Isolated incidents of off-color jokes or rude comments, though unpleasant, do not necessitate a hostile work environment. When unfairness and mistreatment in the workplace make it difficult or impossible for the victim to perform his or her job duties and results in financial repercussions, they are instances of discrimination. Victims of discrimination have the right to file discrimination claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and collect compensation for their financial damages resulting from the discrimination.
Work with Our Team of Experienced New York Employment Lawyers
If you think you have experienced gender-based discrimination in your workplace, you have the right to take action by working with an employment lawyer to file a claim with the EEOC and potentially recover compensation for the financial damages that resulted from your discrimination. To learn more, contact our team at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. today and call (347) 464-8694 to set up your initial consultation in our office.