Gender Discrimination: Understanding Your Rights in the Workplace

What Is Gender Discrimination?

Gender discrimination occurs when an employee or job applicant is treated unfairly based on their gender. This type of discrimination is illegal if it affects the “terms or conditions” of employment, such as work hours, salary, or job responsibilities, as stated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Examples of gender discrimination include:

  • Being paid less than someone of a different gender with similar job duties or qualifications.
  • Being denied promotions or opportunities given to less qualified individuals of a different gender.
  • Facing lower-paying positions or different roles solely because of gender.
  • Being subjected to different or higher standards due to gender.
  • Experiencing harassment for not conforming to gender norms.
  • Enduring derogatory remarks or insults based on gender.
  • Intentionally being addressed by a name that doesn’t align with your identity.
  • Receiving unwelcome advances or requests for sexual favors.
  • Facing pregnancy-related discrimination in job assignments, leave, or job rejection.
  • Being disciplined for actions that wouldn’t result in discipline for individuals of a different gender.

It’s important to note that gender discrimination doesn’t solely affect women. Individuals of all genders, including LGBTQ community members, often face discrimination. For instance, transgender employees may be intentionally misgendered by coworkers and superiors.

Understanding Your Rights in California

As an employee, you’re protected from gender discrimination by both federal and state laws. Federal laws that prohibit gender discrimination include the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.

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In California, there are two primary laws that safeguard employees against gender discrimination: the California Fair Pay Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

FEHA specifically defines unlawful gender discrimination as:

  • Refusal to provide training based on gender or sex.
  • Refusal to hire individuals of a certain gender.
  • Termination of an employee due to gender.

According to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, 11% of all employment complaints in California are related to sex and gender discrimination. While gender and sex are distinct, they are often used interchangeably in federal and state laws. Both types of discrimination are prohibited in California.

How Our Los Angeles Gender Discrimination Lawyers Can Help

At Garrity Traina, our team of experienced lawyers can provide valuable assistance if you’ve faced gender discrimination in the workplace. In addition to reporting the behavior to HR, your supervisor, or filing a grievance if you’re a union member, you have the right to take legal action. Our lawyers can guide you through the process and help you understand your legal options.

By choosing to pursue legal action, you may be eligible for compensation, including lost wages and emotional distress damages. Moreover, taking a stand against gender discrimination can prompt your employer to improve their practices and create a safer workplace for future employees.

We are ready to gather relevant documents, file your claim, and protect you from any potential retaliation from your employer. Gender discrimination is illegal and should be addressed promptly when it occurs in the workplace.

For more information about your rights and legal options, visit Garrity Traina’s website. Together, we can fight against gender discrimination and create a more inclusive work environment.

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