We are fortunate to live in a nation where all workers are protected from various forms of discrimination. In terms of hiring, promotions, compensation, and other work benefits, federal and state laws exist to prevent employees from being treated differently based on their gender.
Yet, despite the recent spotlight on gender equality and the #MeToo movement, gender discrimination is still a pervasive problem in workplaces across the country. In fact, a Pew Research Study found more than 40 percent of working women have encountered gender discrimination at work. Discriminatory practices are not only bad for morale and productivity, they are illegal.
Understanding Gender Discrimination
Gender discrimination is an umbrella term that refers to all forms of gender-related issues, including pregnancy, gender identity, and gender expression. Women are not only subject to this form of discrimination. Anyone can encounter unfair treatment at work because of how they identify.
Gender discrimination takes many forms, which can include:
- Not being hired or being passed over for a promotion because of your gender
- Expectations of behaving or performing a certain way because of your gender
- Making less money than a colleague of a different gender with similar skills and experience
- Being denied a bonus, promotion, or raise in favor of a less-qualified coworker of a different gender
- Being insulted, harassed, or threatened because of your gender identity
- Overt sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other offensive behavior of a sexual nature
- Unfair treatment because of a pregnancy
Gender Discrimination Laws
In the United States, multiple federal and state laws exist to protect the American worker from gender-based discrimination, including:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: A federal law protecting workers from discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin, and religion
- Equality Act: An amendment to the Civil Rights Act that prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, or childbirth
- Equal Pay Act of 1963: Equal pay among genders for equal work
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Protects workers’ jobs while they care for loved ones on a sanctioned leave of absence
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act: Protects women at every stage of employment from unfair treatment based on pregnancy
- New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD): A state law that prohibits discrimination toward individuals based on their color, race, religion, sex, creed, and nationality, among other factors.
Remedies for Gender Discrimination
Not all gender-related treatment at work is illegal. To bring a claim against an individual or company, it must negatively impact the terms and conditions of your employment. Those are the duties, rules, and benefits that come with your job, including performance evaluations, dress code, salary, and days off for illness and vacation.
If your situation meets the bar for illegal gender discrimination, your South Jersey employment lawyer can pursue compensation for damages, including lost wages, damages for emotional distress, and punitive damages against an employer who failed to stop discrimination or allowed it to continue.
What to Do If You Experience Gender Bias at Work
If you are being treated unfairly at work and you suspect gender may be a factor, take the following steps to protect your rights and stop the harassment.
- Review your employer’s policies regarding sexual and gender harassment
- Report the behavior to your direct supervisor or Human Resources (HR) department
- Write down the details of each incident, when they occurred, and who was involved
- Keep all records related to your case, including emails and reports filed with HR
- Contact an attorney with experience tackling workplace discrimination claims
After reviewing your situation and your company’s discrimination policies, your South Jersey employment lawyer recommends the best legal course of action to stop the harassment and hold your employer accountable. It is your right to do your job in an environment that is free from illegal discrimination.
South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Advocate for Workers in New Jersey
Workers in New Jersey and across the nation are protected by various federal and state laws against discrimination. If you suspect your gender is holding you back from the opportunities you deserve, contact the experienced South Jersey employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC. No matter the employment law matter you may be facing, we are here to advocate for you. Call us at 856-235-7075 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Camden County, and Burlington County.