How to Deal With Gender Discrimination at Work

Whenever you're in the workforce, you fully expect to be treated equally to others in your same position. After all, you perform the same job. You may even perform better than your counterparts. However, what happens when decisions are made within the company and you're not given a fair chance because of your gender? 

Below, our Los Angeles gender discrimination lawyer will detail some very important details regarding this major problem that occurs in many workplaces. Whenever this happens you want to hire the best employment attorney to help you understand what rights and options you may have. However, it starts with recognizing what gender discrimination is, how it's happening, what to do if it happens, and your rights should you be discriminated against by an employer. 

What is Gender Discrimination?

By the very definition, gender discrimination is an "unequal or disadvantageous treatment of someone based on gender." While it may seem simple enough, there are multiple facets of gender discrimination that can occur. Some forms of gender discrimination happen unintentionally or without explicit intent.

For example, gender discrimination may exist in the event an employer excludes a specific gender as a requirement for a job role. It may not have been the intention of the employer to discriminate in this situation--the employer may have thought you wouldn't fit the role--but it can be construed as discriminatory.

Gender discrimination becomes illegal when it has a negative impact on the terms of your employment. One example of this would be if your dress code explicitly changes simply because of your gender. This can negatively affect your work experience, making the action discriminatory.

West Coast Employment Lawyers can help you determine if the action you experienced is considered gender discrimination. 

How Does Gender Discrimination Happen?

To help you understand if you're experiencing gender discrimination, here are some examples that may constitute discriminatory actions by your employer. 

  • You may interview for a position with a company and did a great job in the process. Gender discrimination may occur if you are either not hired because of your gender, or you are hired, but given a lower-paying job despite you being qualified for the job for which you applied.

  • You may be held to higher standards in your position than others holding similar job roles. Your employer may give you harsher evaluations or reviews because of your gender.

  • You may be labeled a certain way for acting in a specific manner similar to the other sex. However, while you may be reprimanded for your attitude, your opposite-gender counterpart may be applauded for his or her similar actions.

  • You may hold the same position as someone of the opposite sex, have the same qualifications or better, and same job duties; however, your pay may be less simply because of your gender. 

  • You may be denied certain advancement opportunities at work--in the same regard, someone of the opposite sex less qualified than you may receive the promotion or raise you rightfully deserve.

  • You may receive disciplinary actions for your actions and notice that other members of the opposite sex are not reprimanded when they act in the same way.

  • You may be on the receiving end of sexual harassment. This doesn't just include sexual advances. It could include teasing you because of your gender. However, unwanted sexual advances can be considered a gender-based harassment or discrimination.

  • You may be given forced leave or less opportunities because you're pregnant (if you're a woman).

You should know that these are illegal acts, and your employer is not allowed to make decisions regarding your career based on your gender. Your employer must consider all qualifications and make decisions based on merit, skill, experience, and ability to do the job responsibilities. 

What to Do if it Happens to You

Experiencing gender discrimination can be a traumatic experience. It can cause you to distrust many individuals moving forward and impact your ability to secure employment. However, you should know that you have legal rights, making it important to hire the employment attorney in Los Angeles possible. 

  • Review your work contract: Before you do anything, make sure you take a good look at your employee manual, handbook, contract, and more. Find what it says about gender discrimination and your ability to advance in a company regardless of age, race, gender, or other characteristic. Write down all of the details, including what happened that you consider gender discrimination and what was said to you. 

  • Speak with Human Resources: It can be scary to approach Human Resources because you may not be sure if they're of the same mindset as the person acting discriminatory. However, your internal complaint and documenting of conversations with Human Resources aids when you must report your employer. You can show that you went to HR and nothing was done to help you.

  • Report the incident: Make sure you recognize if your state has deadlines by which you can make a report. From there, speak with the federal commission who oversees how companies handle employment decisions. They'll help to make the determination regarding what you experienced and if it constitutes gender discrimination. 

  • Speak with a lawyer: When you have a Los Angeles gender discrimination lawyer on your side, you can build a strong case to pursue compensation for lost wages resulting from the discrimination. You may also be able to sue for mental anguish, punitive damages, and to have your position reinstated. 

There are two very important things you should note about taking legal action following gender discrimination.

First, taking legal action can help you create change. You can have the courts force the employer to change their policies, the way they make certain positional decisions, and how they interact with employees. You help your case, and you also help out other individuals of the same gender, preventing them from experiencing the same problems in the future.

Second, you should know that the employer cannot legally retaliate against you for reporting them for gender discrimination. Many people fail to report any kind of discrimination or harassment for fear of losing their job. An employer cannot fire you for reporting them without facing additional legal repercussions for these actions. You are protected, and you can take steps to better your work experience.

If you believe you have been on the wrong end of gender discrimination, it's vital for you to speak with a legal professional who can help you file the necessary paperwork against your employer to pursue compensation for your losses. A lawyer can help you meet deadlines, ensure your paperwork is accurate, and present your case in a well-prepared manner.

West Coast Employment Lawyers can help you from start to finish. Our team will work to help you protect your rights and your job moving forward. You shouldn't have to worry about being able to earn an income because your employer discriminated against you. Take the necessary steps to right these wrongs and hold your employer fully accountable for their actions with our legal assistance today.

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