A Guide to Suing Your Employer for Sexual Discrimination
Despite women making leaps and bounds in leadership positions across government and private sectors, 42% of American women say they have faced sexism at work. While gender discrimination at work comes in many forms, the general definition is when a job applicant or employee is treated unfairly compared to their male associates. Not all discrimination is overt, and not all discrimination is necessarily illegal, so it’s important to consult with an experienced gender discrimination lawyer for the workplace to get an idea of how to move forward.
Mann & Elias can provide a sex discrimination attorney Los Angeles residents can count on to handle their case professionally and efficiently. The Los Angeles gender discrimination lawyers of Mann & Elias have experience in dealing with sex discrimination claims from the interview process through the termination of female employees. It’s important to know that even though you are facing discrimination, you have an abundance of legal resources on your side.
What Sex Discrimination Looks Like
Women face various obstacles in their careers on the basis of their gender. Not only do they frequently receive lower wages than men, especially in positions that are lower on the socio-economic scale, but women are also given fewer leadership positions and opportunities for advancement in their careers. Sexism in the workplace can be described as subtle acts such as frequently being interrupted in meetings or much more overt acts like being called a slur.
Researchers divide sexism up into benevolent sexism and hostile sexism.
- Hostile Sexism - Hostile sexism is described as the classic and most obvious kinds of sexism, such as derogatory comments and the assumption that female employees are less intelligent and competent than their male counterparts. Asking a female employee to bring someone coffee is also a form of hostile sexism because it’s belittling. Sexual harassment is also included in this category.
- Benevolent Sexism - This kind of sexism often goes undetected under the guise of chivalry or kindness, but it still operates under the assumption that women are inferior and must be “protected” by men. An example of benevolent sexism could be if male employees were asked to stay late to work on a project, but the female employee is allowed to wrap up because her supervisor believes she should spend more time with her kids. Even if the male employees also have children, the woman is seen as a caretaker. Despite its positive tone, it’s belittling nonetheless.
Especially with benevolent sexism, it can be hard to know when to contact a lawyer for gender discrimination, as it’s not always obvious. Acts of hostile and benevolent sexism are extremely common in the workplace, and Pew Research divided gender discrimination into eight categories.
While workplace discrimination is not as simple as your manager declaring he’d never promote a woman, you can provide circumstantial evidence to show that you were treated unfairly on basis of your gender. Most discrimination lawsuits rely heavily on the decision maker’s intent and decision-making process.
Keeping a record of any sexist remarks will be crucial to you and your Los Angeles workplace lawyer when arguing your case in court. Write down when, where, and by who these remarks were made. Save any emails showing sexist behavior, as written proof will be harder for the defense to deny.
If you filed an internal complaint about gender discrimination, obtain documentation of these meetings and complaints. You have the right to your personnel file at work. Showing that you tried to handle the issue without the help of a Los Angeles workplace lawyer will put more blame on the company.
If you were passed over for a promotion for reasons you think are sexist, you can ask your employer to provide written documentation on the reasoning behind their decision. The court will ask you to prove:
- You are in a protected class.
- You were qualified for the promotion and you were passed over.
- The person who got the promotion is not your protected class.
Your employer will likely state performance-based reasons as to why you were not promoted, but this is where your record of sexist comments comes into play. You and your attorney can show that these performance-based reasons are only to mask their true discriminatory intent. This way, the court will have more than one occasion where possible sexist behavior was displayed.
Mann & Elias can offer you legal advice when deciding a course of action for dealing with your sexist workplace. Your value as an employee should not be overlooked, and you have the right to take your employer to court for treating you as inferior to your male employees. Your gender discrimination lawyer can assist you in filing complaints with FEPA, EEOC, and any other government entity you think will assist you in your lawsuit.