Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes gender discrimination illegal. This law applies to any company with 15 or more employees. It applies to every area of employment, such as hiring, termination, pay, and job perks. If one employee receives disparate treatment and is somehow disadvantaged in their workplace, that may rise to the level of gender discrimination.
Despite this federal law, gender discrimination still happens frequently in the workplace. While gender discrimination includes any action that negatively affects a person based on their gender, it is not always clear as to the intent. These actions may include deliberate but also innocent acts of gender discrimination. No matter the cause or the intent, gender discrimination in the workplace is illegal.
Gender discrimination can come in many forms. It can come from managers and supervisors, and even customers. It can also come from colleagues and peers. No matter where it originates, it is against the law. Understanding what someone goes through when they suffer gender discrimination is important to making sure that corrective measures are taken. Not only can the individual employee suffer, but so can other employees and the company as a whole. Cutting out this behavior is good for the victim and for everyone involved.
Mental Health Problems
When a person suffers from discrimination, no one can doubt that they suffer negative effects from that type of treatment. In fact, many victims of gender discrimination are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, among other mental health conditions.
Since mental health is difficult to seek help for, many people self-medicate or ignore the problems, which can snowball into much more serious issues. It is important that all victims of gender discrimination remember that this is not their fault.
Most employees come to work to be as productive and efficient as possible. However, when they are distracted, their productivity quickly declines. This might be from an issue at home that they just cannot get out of their mind, or it could be from gender discrimination. They come to work worried that someone will treat them less professionally as they do other employees just because of their gender. If they are always living with this fear, they cannot possibly focus on their work.
Beyond the individual employee, the company also places itself at risk by not correcting and eliminating gender discrimination. Even if a colleague is the one discriminating, the company may be held liable for letting the discrimination occur in the first place. This could lead to costly government fines and embarrassing employee lawsuits. Not only are employment law violations and lawsuits extremely costly, they hurt the morale of other employees.
Poor Employee Morale
Employee morale will most certainly dip for the employee suffering gender discrimination, but it will also decline for other employees who see what is happening. They may wonder if they are next. When employees see gender discrimination happening and they see their employer does nothing about it, they no longer want to be involved with the company and may start looking for work elsewhere.
Conflicts Between Colleagues
Dropping employee morale increases employee gossip. This will divide employees between those who take the company’s side and those who take the side of the employee who is suffering from gender discrimination. When people are focused on drama like this, they are not doing their jobs correctly. To effectively combat this situation, an employer must immediately put an end to the gender discrimination that is occurring.
What are Examples of Gender Discrimination?
Gender discrimination can occur anywhere. Since gender is not predetermined like sex, a person may identify as a member of a particular gender class, even though others may not realize it. This, alone, is not an excuse. When an employer makes an employment decision based on someone’s gender, that is a violation of the law. No employer can refuse to hire or promote an employee based on their gender. Likewise, no employer can specifically terminate or demote an employee based on their gender. This also includes fair pay and other benefits.
Additionally, gender discrimination can occur in other public areas. Schools may even attempt to prevent women from taking classes in or pursuing degrees in heavily male-dominated fields. A school may also enforce gendered dress codes, strictly enforcing the rules and discriminating against certain genders.
What is the Difference Between Direct and Indirect Gender Discrimination?
Gender discrimination may not always be obvious. Sometimes, it flies under the radar, and only the person suffering the discrimination actually notices that it is happening. The person committing the discriminatory acts may not even notice, but this does not make it right.
When discussing the main types of gender discrimination, they fall into two categories: direct and indirect. Each has their own way of committing gender discrimination, and both forms are against the law.
Direct discrimination is more likely to be noticed than indirect. This occurs when an employee is treated differently than another employee because of their gender. Direct gender discrimination may happen when a female employee is passed over for a promotion, which is instead given to a man with less experience and less tenure at the company. While there may be legitimate reasons for that employer to make that decision, it could be direct discrimination.
Another common example occurs during the hiring process. When a woman who appears to be in her childbearing years interviews for a job, they may not get the job because of their gender. The employer may make the determination that they would rather hire a man who would not need maternity leave. This is a clear example of direct gender discrimination.
Indirect gender discrimination is less obvious. This happens when a company policy, procedure, or rule disadvantages someone because of their gender. For indirect gender discrimination to occur, it does not matter the intent of the rule or policy. If the end result is gender discrimination, then the company must change the policy.
Some companies will argue that they have a legitimate business reason for their policy. The burden is on them to prove their assertion. If they cannot prove their stance, then the policy will likely be construed as gender discrimination, and anyone affected by the policy may have legal options.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Protect the Rights of Workers Encountering Gender Discrimination
Gender discrimination can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health. Not only does it negatively impact your personal life, but it also reduces your ability to be an effective employee, which can affect your financial well-being. Gender discrimination is against the law, and you do not have to put up with it at work. Speak to the compassionate and experienced Cherry Hill employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. for assistance with your potential case. With our legal team protecting your rights, you can get the help you need. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can give you the support you deserve. We are conveniently located in Pennsauken, New Jersey, and we proudly assist clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.