For decades, women have suffered from being discriminated against in many avenues of society, particularly the workplace. According to 2017 research, women earn 82 percent of what a man earns performing the same job. While some gains have been made, it is clear there is still much work to be done regarding gender discrimination. Defined as the unfavorable treatment of another person due to their gender, this form of discrimination stems from many causes and has multiple effects upon a workplace. If you believe you could be the victim of this form of discrimination, here is additional information as to its causes and effects, as well as why you should consider hiring the services of a gender discrimination attorney.
Under-representation in the Workplace
While women have made their way into more and more industries dominated primarily by men, this lack of representation on the job can often open the door to discriminatory practices against them. Whether it is the auto or construction industry, or perhaps even highly-regarded white-collar jobs, the fact remains many men in these industries are not open to having progressive viewpoints about women in the workplace. Because of this, this can create a variety of conflicts and tensions on a daily basis, which usually leads to a negative work environment. From being paid less for the same job to having insults hurled at them each day, women in these situations often have little recourse but to hire gender discrimination lawyer to help them gain equal pay for equal work.
Viewed as Less Capable
Along with under-representation being a cause of gender discrimination, another cause is having male executives and other male employees viewing women as being less capable than men of performing certain tasks. In many cases, this occurs not only in male-dominated industries, but also workplaces that are quite diverse. Unfortunately, if a female employee has a male supervisor, she can be subject to being denied promotions, being given lesser tasks than male counterparts, or being demoted in favor of a male employee. If any of these or other similar actions take place on the job, it is always recommended to contact West Coast Employment Lawyers to learn more about your legal options in these matters.
Increased Conflicts and Tension
When this form of discrimination is happening on the job, one of its main effects is creating high levels of increased tension and conflict between employees. Acting as a double-edged sword in that male employees resent their female workers and the female workers resent being denied equal opportunity, the result can be a workplace that becomes very dysfunctional in virtually every way. Rather than everyone being able to focus on the daily tasks that must be performed, employees can often be found arguing and disagreeing on how to get the best results. In addition, unhappy employees sometimes take out their frustrations on customers, which can be extremely detrimental to a business.
Not Feeling Valued
Along with increased tension and conflict, being discriminated against because of one’s gender also leads to female employees not feeling valued for their knowledge and experience. When this happens, the result is a workplace that likely has many employees who are less motivated to do an excellent job, starting a ripple effect that can spread throughout a business, creating havoc along the way.
Another important effect of discrimination based on gender is a sharp drop in productivity among employees. When this happens, a business can suffer substantial financial losses if the problem lingers. Because of this, it is vital these issues be resolved as fast as possible. However, in many cases management will be less than eager to do so, which is why you should not hesitate to contact a gender discrimination attorney for assistance.
Most serious of all, business owners who allow discrimination of gender to occur at their workplace can face a variety of legal consequences. Since this form of discrimination is illegal based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a female employee has the right to file a discrimination claim with the United States Equal Opportunity Commission. If this happens, a business owner should prepare for an investigation by the EOC. Once completed, the results can vary. If it is deemed the complaint was valid, employers can be forced into promoting a female employee, providing back pay, and other employees may be demoted or fired due to their discriminatory practices. In severe cases of discrimination, employers can also face stiff fines from the government.
While it is likely there will always be various forms of discrimination in the workplace, most experts agree there are certain steps employers can take to decrease the chances of having these problems occur. One of the most promising is to increase diversity within the workplace, which can often be accomplished by re-examining job requirements to make them more balanced for all applicants. If done properly, many women who want to re-enter the workforce may be able to do so in certain industries where before they would never have gained serious consideration.
Seminars and Training
Along with choosing to increase diversity within a company, more and more employers are now choosing to conduct seminars and other forms of training regarding gender discrimination. Whether done as special training sessions or as part of a company’s orientation program, these seminars and workshops often give male employees valuable information and skills they can use to ensure women are treated equally. In many of these seminars, a combination of classroom training and role-playing sessions are used to demonstrate various discriminatory practices and how they can impact not just those individuals who are directly involved, but many other aspects of the company as well. By learning to understand the what, why, and how of this form of discrimination, along with its potential consequences, male employees can keep many situations from happening.
As the workforce of today becomes more diverse, one of the most complicated issues for employers regarding discrimination involves transgender employees. In these situations, certain employees may identify themselves with the opposite gender of that with which they were born, or may in fact consider themselves “non-binary,” meaning they have neither a male or female distinction. In these situations, employers are often unprepared to accommodate these employees in terms of restroom usage and other matters. As a result, it can be very easy for discriminatory practices to take place, especially among employees who may not understand or agree with this type of sexual orientation. Therefore, it is critical employers anticipate the needs of these employees and formulate a plan of accommodation, since this is generally much easier to accomplish than dealing with the legal aspects of a discrimination complaint.
Know Your Rights
If you believe you are the victim of discrimination based on your gender, contact a gender discrimination lawyer immediately. By doing so, you will have an experienced and knowledgeable legal professional on your side to protect your rights as your complaint is investigated. Since these complaints sometimes lead to attempted retaliation by employers, hiring West Coast Employment Lawyers can guarantee you will have a gender discrimination lawyer who will fight hard for you from start to finish.