In spite of legislation to promote gender equality, there is far too much gender discrimination in this country, particularly in the employment sphere. If you are located in Chicago or its surrounding area and suffering unfair treatment on the job, it is time to contact Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil. Our skilled employment discrimination attorneys have a history not only of righting wrongs but of winning our deserving clients large settlements in employment gender discrimination cases.
What is gender discrimination in Geneva, Illinois?
Gender discrimination is unequal treatment of individuals or groups based on their gender. While we have made great strides since American women attained the right to vote in 1920, there is evidence of extreme backlash in the 21st century.
Gender discrimination against women, members of the gay community, and those with gender dysphoria — a condition in which a person feels a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity — has become a harsh, sometimes violent, cultural battle.
How It Is Defined
Gender discrimination manifests in:
- Unfair hiring practices
- Wage disparities
- Unequal promotions or bonuses
- Unequal job duties or working conditions
- Sexual harassment
- Wrongful termination
Whether blatant or subtle, gender discrimination is against the law.
Geneva Laws Against Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
Several laws, both state and federal, are in place to protect Illinois employees from gender discrimination, including:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
- The Equal Pay Act
- Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA)
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Break Time for Nursing Mothers Act
Nonetheless, as we all know, having a law on the books is not the same as having it enforced. In too many cases, you need a strong, savvy employment attorney to see that you’re not taken advantage of.
How Intervention by Our Gender Discrimination Lawyers Can Help
If you have confronted gender discrimination in regard to any of the above-mentioned categories at your workplace, and your employer has not addressed them to your satisfaction, it is time for you to seek powerful legal representation. Our proficient legal team will listen carefully to your account, seek witnesses and verifying documentation (e.g. emails, texts, posted pictures or cartoons, comparative income data), attempt to negotiate a fair settlement or, if necessary, file a lawsuit on your behalf.
We Also Help Employers Develop Policies for Prevention
The majority of employers are well-intentioned and eager to keep their workplaces up to code. We have extensive experience assisting companies in developing policies that will protect everyone at the workplace from unfair treatment and defend employers against unjust accusations.
Types of Gender Discrimination You May Face at Your Workplace
Unfortunately, there are a great many ways that gender discrimination makes itself known on the employment front:
1. During the hiring process
Female candidates are often asked inappropriate questions about their marital status, whether they have or plan to have children, etc. In a similar vein, transgender or nonbinary individuals may be humiliating questions about their clothing, make-up, personal habits, voice quality, etc. — if they get interviewed at all.
2. Wage inequality
It is no secret that women earn nearly 20 percent less than men for performing the same jobs. Less well-known but no less disturbing, gay men and women are also dealt poor hands when it comes to wages, and transgender men earn less when they transition to females. Clearly, something is amiss.
3. Unequal job duties or opportunities
A great many women can attest to the fact that they have more knowledge and experience than the men who supervise them. They may also report that they are not offered the same training or travel opportunities that the men in their company are or that their company does not promote women with the same frequency as men or to the highest positions of power.
4. Being Stereotyped
Women may also find themselves in less favorable workspaces, e.g. without private offices, or placed in a position to “welcome visitors” though they are not receptionists. They may be routinely asked to perform chores men are not asked to complete, such as making the coffee, cleaning up the kitchen or supply closet, buying gifts, or arranging parties. Transgender individuals may not be accommodated in terms of having access to appropriate bathroom facilities. Sis women, gay or transgender individuals may be required to wear clothing or hairdos that conform to outdated standards of sexual stereotypes.
5. Sexual Harassment
Whether charges of quid pro quo or hostile work environment apply in your case, you have a right to be free of sexual harassment. Being offered a work advantage (bonus, promotion) or a threat (e.g. of wrongful termination) in exchange for sexual favors or being exposed to a toxic workplace environment are both unacceptable and illegal.
You are entitled to work at your job without being propositioned, demeaned or subjected to any of the following:
- Suggestive remarks
- Offensive words, pictures, cartoons
- Unwanted physical contact (e.g. neck rubs)
- Questions about sexual behavior or declarations of sexual prowess
It is important to remember that anyone at the workplace can be sexually harassed or be a sexual harasser, regardless of gender, gender perception or sexual orientation, and employment status. The latter means that your harasser may be an executive, a supervisor, co-worker, delivery or cleaning service staff member, client, or customer.
6. Wrongful Termination
If you have lost your job for reasons of gender discrimination, most likely in retaliation for complaining about unfair treatment, our gender discrimination attorneys are here to protect your rights. It is not only illegal but irrational and mean-spirited, for employees to be terminated for their gender. We will use all of our well-developed legal skills to make things right.
Contact Our Experienced Gender Discrimination Attorneys to Obtain Justice
We will fight aggressively to get your employer to right the wrong done to you by resolving the issue that has plagued you or getting you rehired. In addition, we will do everything we can to make sure you are well compensated for your lost income (back and front pay), lost benefits, lost bonuses, emotional distress, and, in some cases, receive punitive damages.
On the other hand, if you are an ethical employer looking to improve your protocol so that you can provide your employees with the fair treatment they deserve, we will do all that we can to assist you. By the same token, if you are trying to extricate yourself from trumped-up charges of gender discrimination, we are firmly on your side. Our goal is to provide our clients with the most effective, empathic service possible and to make employment opportunities available to everyone on an equal basis. Contact our office today to learn more.