As a country, America has come a long way since World War II when women first began to enter the workforce. Today, women are represented in every industry, and continue to hold prominent positions in fields like medicine, law, and education. Yet, even as more women enter the board room and take on leadership roles, others are being left behind. Women across the country are being passed over for promotions because of their gender. They may not know that this is illegal or where to turn to get the recognition they deserve.
In today's posting, we'll talk about gender discrimination, and what women can do when they are passed over for promotions because of their sex. We'll also talk about your rights as an employee and how to raise a claim for gender discrimination or sexual harassment. If you believe you have been passed over for a promotion because of your gender, contact Eisenberg & Baum. Our team of employment lawyers have years of experience handling discrimination claims. We can help you understand your rights and get you the remedy you need as a victim of discrimination.
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and New York State and City Human Rights Laws protect women from gender discrimination in the workplace. These laws generally make it illegal for an employer anywhere in the United States to treat an employee differently at work because of a protected trait, like sex or gender. These laws apply whenever there is an adverse employment action against the victim of discrimination based on a protected characteristic. In particular, an employer is not permitted to base decisions about job assignments or promotions based on an employee's sex, including gender identity, sexual orientation, or pregnancy.
Sex discrimination continues to be a problem, even in the modern job market.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed a lawsuit against Country Fresh, a division of Dean Foods, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, was brought on behalf of a female employee at the company's Livonia, Michigan plant. She had worked in various production jobs in various parts of the plant and had accumulated decades of experience. In spite of all her hard work for the company, the employee was repeatedly bypassed for promotions in favor of male employees. The EEOC is asking the court to issue an injunction to keep Country Fresh from engaging in promotion discrimination in the future. If the lawsuit is successful, the employee could also be awarded significant financial damages.
In some cases, gender discrimination happens because of stereotypes or other factors inherent to the gender. In others, women are being passed over for promotions because they refuse to play along with sexual harassment. Unfortunately, employees in some workplaces still face unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, offensive remarks about a person's gender, and other verbal or physical sexual harassment. When a woman's refusal to give in to these behaviors becomes grounds not to promote her, the employer has violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as New York city and state laws.
Gender discrimination usually isn't a secret. Co-workers often observe the adverse treatment of a victim. Unfortunately, fear of retaliation can keep concerned co-workers from speaking up, either internally or through official legal channels. Federal and state laws protect employees from retaliation for reporting gender discrimination or sexual harassment. Employees are protected whether they were victims of the discrimination or just a witness. Employees facing retaliation, including failure to promote, have the same options available as the victims of discrimination. Without this protection, employees would remain silent in the face of hostile workplaces and serious gender discrimination out of fear that they could be next.
Women facing gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace may feel like they are out of options. A hostile work environment can make it seem like there is nowhere to turn. When discrimination comes from a manager or supervisor, it may seem there is no safe way to complain. When that happens, we encourage you to contact an attorney. The employment discrimination attorneys at Eisenberg & Baum have years of experience dealing with gender discrimination and sexual harassment claims. We bill on a contingent fee basis, so you won't have to pay us unless we win or settle your case.