Getting Help with Gender Discrimination at Work

Gender discrimination is a very real problem in the workplace, unfortunately.  In fact, the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) received nearly 30,000 gender discrimination workplace complaints each year.  Anyone who feels that he or she is a victim of gender discrimination should know the rules and how to report it and seek legal action.

Recognizing Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

It’s not difficult to recognize gender discrimination cases, however, some individuals may find themselves unsure of whether it’s happening to them or not.  Many cases of gender discrimination are direct and the employer or co-worker is not shy about hiding that fact.  Some examples include:

  • Offering a higher starting pay for male workers than the female workers starting in the exact same position.
  • Promoting only men to positions of power, such as supervisors or project leaders.

However, there are some types of gender discrimination that are not quite as blatant.  This is called ‘indirect discrimination,’ and the employer may try to cover the fact that it’s discrimination.  A few examples include:

  • Asking women to get the coffee or perform stereotypical ‘women’ duties.
  • Giving large bonuses to only the men under the guise that the men have ‘been there longer’ or have seniority.

By paying close attention to how all employees are treated, one can easily recognize discrimination in the workplace.

Reporting Gender Discrimination

Anyone who feels that he or she is a victim of gender discrimination should not hesitate to report it.  It’s against gender discrimination law, and those who are guilty of gender discrimination should face the consequences.  There are several steps for reporting this activity.

  • Read the Company Policy Regarding Discrimination - Most companies have policies regarding gender discrimination, workplace discrimination and more.  It’s important for victims to familiarize themselves with these policies and determine whether those policies have been violated.
  • Document all Gender Discrimination Incidents - Individuals should also document each incident of gender and discrimination issues, with names of the individuals involved as well as witnesses and the events.
  • Report to the Supervisor - Individuals should report the incidents to their direct supervisor, or a supervisor above that one if the direct supervisor was involved in the discrimination.
  • EEOC - The EEOC or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is also a good route to take when making reports.  The EEOC investigates all claims of gender discrimination in the workplace and will help victims learn what to do next.

Taking Legal Action

Gender discrimination is illegal.  In fact, there are a few things that one should know if they feel they’ve been the victim of gender discrimination.  According to the EEOC:

  • Title VII of the 1964 civil rights Act(Title VII), prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination.

Gender Discrimination Attorney

Individuals should speak to a Civil Rights Attorney.  Many attorneys provide free consultations and even offer to work on contingency for discrimination cases, so even individuals who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford an attorney can.  The attorney can advise his or her client on what steps to take next.  The attorney and client can then decide whether a lawsuit is the best idea.

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