The 1965 Civil Rights Act banned gender discrimination in employment and other matters. But this problem persists to this day, partially because of misogyny and partially because of structural discrimination.
Misogyny basically means prejudice against women that is so deeply ingrained that the biased person does not realize that it is wrong. Bias handed down through the generations seems acceptable to many people. Structural discrimination often goes back to poor salary negotiation skills at the beginning of a career. Every year during salary reviews, the male/female earning gap widens.
To the dedicated Chicago sex discrimination lawyers at the Law Office of Mitchell Kline, these reasons are just excuses, and excuses do not hold up in court.
Nevertheless, it is not easy to beat these excuses in court. Instead, an attorney must diligently build a strong, evidence-based claim from the ground up. Only a legal claim with a solid foundation withstands insurance company defenses and enables a Chicago sex discrimination lawyer to negotiate a settlement from a position of strength.
Workplace sexual harassment is probably the most common example of disparate treatment discrimination (treating different people differently) against women.
The law is clear in this area. When an employer receives a sexual harassment report, the employer must quickly, thoroughly, and transparently investigate that report.
Quick investigations must begin promptly. Usually, employers must already have the basic infrastructure in place. Additionally, employers cannot drag their feet and hope the victim abandons the case. Thorough investigators do not simply interview the principal parties. They also interview potential witnesses and examine relevant documents. An investigation is transparent if it is completely open. Furthermore, the result is transparent if it’s based solely on the facts uncovered in the investigation.
A breakdown in any area opens the door for an illegal employment discrimination claim. These claimants are usually entitled to substantial compensation.
On a related note, employers are also accountable for third-party sexual harassment, at least in many cases. A classic example is a customer who sexually harasses a waitress. If the employer knows about the misconduct and is in a position to do something about it, the employer must respond appropriately.
This form of discrimination, which is sometimes called unintentional discrimination, involves employment policies that adversely affect particular groups of people.
A weight-bearing requirement is a good example. For instance, many firefighting departments require applicants to carry a 100-pound weight up three flights of stairs.
Most women have less upper-body strength than most men. Therefore, the policy disproportionately excludes female applicants. This policy would only pass judicial scrutiny if the fire department proved the requirement was reasonably necessary and job-related.
Hiring ratios are another example, especially if the workplace is a fire department or other traditionally male-dominated occupation. If the selection process makes it more difficult for members of a protected class, like women, to get jobs, Chicago sex discrimination lawyers could successfully argue the selection process systematically screens out members of that protected class.
Job bias victims have legal options in Illinois. For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago sex discrimination attorney, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. We routinely handle matters throughout Chicagoland.