What would make a woman take her employer to court? If you are facing a difficult situation at work, you may wonder what other female employees have done to get fair treatment. Here are some common forms of discrimination lawsuits that women file against their bosses.
In this blog I will discuss 5 common issues for employment lawyers who advocate for women. I will introduce issues of gender discrimination, pregnancy and disability accommodations, and equal pay wage gap problems. I will also provide examples for each kind of discrimination.
Women Sue to Stop Sexual Harassment
Whether it is overt sexual advances or repeated sex-related jokes, sexual harassment can make an office or job site unbearable. When gentle reminders and formal complaints fail, women often have to take their employers to court to stop sexual harassment. There, the judge will look at whether a pattern of behavior is so extreme or pervasive that it creates a hostile working environment.
For example, if a woman is repeatedly exposed to pornographic male images, even after asking her co-workers to stop, she may be facing sexual harassment. If her employer won’t do anything about the “jokes” she could be able to sue.
Gender Discrimination Lawsuits Help Break the Glass Ceiling
Gender discrimination doesn’t always look like harassment. Sometimes, a woman will discover that she is being given poorer working conditions or has been passed over for promotion simply because of her sex. When a manager, supervisor, or boss bases employment decisions on sexual stereotypes, it can result in an adverse employment decision and the basis for a gender discrimination lawsuit.
For example, if a woman has the qualifications for an accounting position at her company, but her boss gives the job to a man because “women can’t be trusted with money,” she may have a claim.
Expectant Mothers Stand Up Against Pregnancy Discrimination
The birth of a child should be a joyous event. But sometimes, when an expectant mother gains a child, she loses a job. Even though the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits making job decisions based on a person’s pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, many women find themselves having to choose between family and work. When an employer refuses to make temporary accommodations for a pregnant woman’s medical restrictions or denies a pregnant mother unpaid leave, those decisions can sometimes lead to a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.
For example, if a woman takes unpaid maternity leave from a larger company, only to find she has been replaced when she is ready to come back, she could be entitled to file a lawsuit.
Disabled Women Deserve Work Too
Not every lawsuit a woman brings against her employers has to do with her gender. Women also face discrimination at work for things like race, religion, and disabilities. When a female employee is disabled, for example, she may have to sue to get the reasonable accommodations she needs to complete her work. The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act are designed to make sure every worker has the tools she needs to do her job. Still, many employers are unwilling to make even simple accommodations for their workers. When that happens, women can get the help they need through a lawsuit under the ADA.
For example, if a female cashier’s physical condition makes it difficult to stand at her register for her entire shift, she may request a stool to sit on as an accommodation. If her employer refuses even though it would not be unreasonably expensive or difficult, she may be able to sue.
Women Sue for Equal Pay at Work
Even when an employer doesn’t interfere with a woman’s work, it may still be discriminating against her when it comes to her pay check. In many industries, women make significantly less than men for doing the same work, even though that is illegal under the Equal Pay Act. When a woman discovers that she is making less than her male counterparts because of her gender (rather than performance or seniority, for example), she may be able to sue for wage discrimination.
For example, if a professional woman discovers that her annual bonus is half of that received by male employees with similar work histories, she may be entitled to file a lawsuit.
Helping Women Get Fair Treatment at Work
When women find the odds stacked against them at work, they need the help of skilled and experienced gender discrimination attorneys to set the records straight. At Eisenberg & Baum, LLP, we help women every day to get equal treatment from their employers. Whether your case involves gender discrimination, sexual harassment, or pregnancy, disability, or wage discrimination, we can help you make your case. Contact Eisenberg & Baum, LLP, today to schedule a free initial consultation and find out whether it is time to sue your employer.