Sex Discrimination In The Workplace | You Deserve Better
In spite of legislation to promote equality, there is far too much sex discrimination in this country, particularly in the employment sphere. While we have made great strides since American women attained the right to vote in 1920, we have a long way to go in ensuring true equality in the workplace. Sex 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.
If you are located in Chicago or its surrounding area and suffering unfair treatment on the job because of your sex, gender or sexual orientation, it is time to contact FMCO Law. Our skilled employment discrimination attorneys have a history not only of righting wrongs but of winning our deserving clients large settlements in employment discrimination cases.
What Is Sex Discrimination?
Sex discrimination is the unequal treatment of individuals or groups based on their sex. It also includes unequal treatment based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Sex 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, sex discrimination is against the law.
Laws Against Sex Discrimination In The Workplace
Several laws, both state and federal, are in place to protect 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
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. You will find your voice at our firm.
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
Women and female-presenting 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 get 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% less than men for performing the same jobs, according to recent data from the Pew Research Center. Less well-known but no less disturbing, LGBTQ individuals 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 and female-presenting employees 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 and female-presenting workers 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. Cis 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 from 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, sexual orientation or employment status. Your harasser may be an executive, supervisor, co-worker, delivery or cleaning service staff member, client, or customer.
6. Wrongful Termination
If you have lost your job for reasons relating to sex or gender discrimination, perhaps in retaliation for complaining about unfair treatment, our attorneys are here to protect your rights. It is not only illegal but irrational and mean-spirited for employers to retaliate against employees who report discrimination. Our team will work diligently on your behalf to make things right.
How We Can Help
If you have confronted gender or sex 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 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. 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 can assist you. We have extensive experience assisting companies in developing policies that will protect everyone at the workplace from unfair treatment.
We also defend employers against unjust accusations. If you are trying to extricate yourself from trumped-up charges of sex discrimination, we are firmly on your side.
Contact Our Experienced 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.
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 in Geneva to learn more during a free consultation. You can also call us at 630-912-5702.