Even though there are more females holding positions with more responsibility and earning higher salaries than ever before, gender discrimination is still prevalent in the working world. It is present in every industry and is experienced by females at every rung of the employment ladder. Whether it is obvious or subtle, it is an issue that still needs to be addressed. Some industries stand out for showing a lack of opportunity for females. Sports broadcasting is a prominent field that exemplifies this behavior, with women only having one-third of the presence as their male counterparts.
Even with all the media attention as of late, old stereotypes still exist. Many still perceive that only a man can be the head of a family, and this perception is ingrained into social institutions and workplaces. A common example of this is language; calling a female employee by a nickname is now considered inappropriate. Other behaviors, such as a male employee holding the door open for a female employee, can also be looked down upon.
These stereotypes lead to gender discrimination in the workplace. Female employees can be thought of as less qualified because of these misperceptions. This translates into less pay and responsibility, and can cause denied opportunities, less promotions, termination, and stalled salaries.
Although most gender discrimination cases seem to occur with men discriminating against women, these stereotypical scenarios are not always the case. Men can also discriminate against other men, and women can behave this way toward others. No matter who is involved, any form of workplace gender discrimination is against the law.
Quid Pro Quo Harassment
In Latin, quid pro quo means this for that. In employment law, quid pro quo harassment is illegal and occurs when a superior requires sexual favors from an employee for advancement in employment conditions. A boss who requires sexual favors for a raise could be held liable for quid pro quo harassment. Less obvious examples also qualify, such as statements about changing one’s appearance for the benefit of the superior.
New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD)
New Jersey employees are protected by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), which makes discrimination based on one’s gender identity or expression illegal. It prohibits companies from denying them the same rights or privileges that are offered to others; this applies to interviewing, hiring, promoting, transferring, pay, benefits, job assignments, firing, and other conditions of employment.
The NJLAD’s scope also extends to real estate and housing; property owners may not discriminate based on gender when someone wants to rent or purchase a property, in most cases. It is also illegal to discriminate based on an individual’s gender identity or expression in a business situation. The NJLAD also applies to public places, such as government offices, schools, restaurants, sports facilities, stores, theaters, and hotels, among others.
Filing a Complaint
Residents that experience gender discrimination can file a complaint with New Jersey’s Division on Civil Rights (DCR). There is a 180-day window to file after the discriminatory act. The DCR will then investigate and if there is enough evidence, there may be a hearing at the Office of Administrative Law. Another option is to contact the Superior Court of New Jersey, and claimants that choose this route have a two-year window to file their complaints.
The NJLAD also protects workers who file complaints or claim that they have been targeted for workplace sexual harassment or gender discrimination. Employers are prohibited from taking action that adversely impacts any employee of a certain gender.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight Against Gender Discrimination
Your workplace is no place for gender discrimination, and we can help you receive the compensation you deserve. For a free case evaluation, contact the Cherry Hill employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. at 215-569-1999 or complete an online form today. Our Pennsauken, New Jersey office serves clients throughout South Jersey.