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Gender Discrimination

Gender Discrimination

Although they are similar, gender discrimination is not sex discrimination. Think of it this way: sex is biological and gender is social and cultural. A woman who is denied the opportunity to take on a job that exposes her to harmful chemicals that could cause birth defects in future children she might or might not choose to have is a victim of sex discrimination. A woman who is denied the opportunity to advance to a managerial role because “women are not natural leaders” is a victim of gender discrimination.

Individuals of either gender can face gender discrimination in the workplace. It can be overt but it can also be subtle, sometimes going unnoticed in a company for years. Gender discrimination can slow or even halt an individual’s career progress, potentially costing him or her tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Gender Discrimination Examples

Gender discrimination is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A few examples of gender discrimination that can occur in the workplace include:

  • Gender-based harassment;
  • Maintaining different standards for employees of different genders. For example, requiring female employees to wear makeup at work while only requiring males to look presentable;
  • Segregating employees into different positions based on their genders, rather than their skills;
  • Disciplining employees of one gender more harshly than the other for the same infractions;
  • Maintaining different expectations for employees of different genders, such as expecting female employees to clean up the office in addition to their job duties or expecting male employees to perform physical labor in addition to their job duties; and
  • Failing to hire or promote employees of a certain gender.

How to Take Action as a Victim of Gender Discrimination

If you feel you have faced gender discrimination in your workplace, speak with your supervisor about your experience. If the discrimination continues, speak with your company’s Human Resources department and file a formal complaint. This complaint will be an important piece of evidence to support a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a lawsuit if you choose to file one later.

After speaking with Human Resources, contact an experienced employment lawyer to discuss your rights and working with the EEOC to pursue a discrimination claim. In addition to your Human Resources complaint, you will need documentation like copies of emails, meeting notes, or other messages to support your claim. If your colleagues can provide testimony about the discrimination, this can support your claim too. If the EEOC finds discrimination occurred, it may facilitate a settlement between you and the company. If it cannot, your lawyer can help you determine if filing a lawsuit would be a productive choice for your case.

Work with an Experienced Chicago Employment Lawyer

If you have faced gender discrimination or any other type of discrimination in your workplace, you have the right to file a discrimination claim with the EEOC to seek compensation for your related damages. To learn more and start working on your case, contact The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline today to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.