Although Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has prohibited employment-based sexual discrimination across the United States for decades, it remains a persistent issue in workplaces across the country. Approximately 20,000 people every year file sexual discrimination claims with the EEOC, with as many as 50,000 additional claims filed based on state or local statutes. Here are just seven of the ways you may experience sexual discrimination in your workplace:
- Unequal pay
- One of the most common types of sexual discrimination comes in the form of unequal pay. This is when an employer pays a woman less than their male counterparts for the same work, despite no differences in experience, skills, or conduct that might justify such a difference.
- Refusing to grant time off
- Most employers give their employees time off when requested, based on how much time they are allowed by law and by the terms of their employment. However, some employers may refuse to grant time off to their female employees, either for sick leave or vacation, which may be a sign of sexual discrimination.
- Refusing to grant raises or promotions
- Another common form of sexual discrimination comes from women getting stuck at the lower levels of their company, often at their starting salary. Without additional raises or promotions, they are left unable to advance in the company, and wind up stuck in a professional dead end.
- Lack of advancement opportunities
- Rather than outright refusing someone promotions or raises, a discriminatory employer may instead discriminate by failing to provide certain advancement opportunities necessary to rise up in the company. For example, they may fail to invite women to conferences or training seminars which are necessary to rise up in the company, or hold after-work meet-ups at places like strip clubs where women may feel uncomfortable.
- Disproportionate punishment
- While a company may have written policies on how it handles violations of company policy, how those violations get handled may differ greatly. In the case of sexual discrimination, for example, a male employee may get away with a simple warning for an offense, while a female employee may be formally disciplined and have their pay or benefits docked as a result of the same conduct.
- Hostile work environment
- Sexual discrimination can also manifest as a hostile work environment towards women. This can include people making inappropriate comments or jokes, a failure to respect personal space, inappropriate physical contact, or demands for sexual gratification in exchange for professional favors.
- Retaliation for reporting discrimination
- It is also considered a type of sexual discrimination to retaliate against an employee who reports discriminatory behavior. If this has happened to you, the best thing you can do is contact a lawyer with experience handling employment discrimination claims.
Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with more than 42 years’ experience handling the many aspects of employment law. His new book, “Fired!: Protect Your Rights & FIGHT BACK If You’re Terminated, Laid Off, Downsized, Restructured, Forced to Resign or Quit,” is available in hardback, and contains valuable advice on dealing with employment and labor law issues. To purchase the book, feel free to contact Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or visit the website at legalstratpub.com. To inquire about a legal matter, please feel free to contact attorney Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.