A person’s gender has nothing to do with his or her skills, knowledge, work ethic and experience, and yet employers sometimes unlawfully consider gender when making work decisions. Several laws protect employees from discrimination, including the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).
Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns LLP has a reputation for handling gender discrimination cases nationwide. Our lawyers are members of the Texas, California, Arizona and other states’ bars and have experience in the state and federal courts in multiple jurisdictions. Because of our high level trial experience, we know when to push a claim toward trial and when to negotiate a settlement agreement.
Often sexual discrimination is not isolated, but rather the conduct is systemic. Our attorneys may recommend filing a class action claim in these cases. In all cases, we pursue all available remedies, which might include recovery of lost income, the maximum possible damages and job reinstatement, if appropriate.
Understanding Gender Discrimination
Gender discrimination occurs when a person is treated differently or policies have a different negative impact on account of the person’s gender. Discriminatory decisions in recruitment, hiring, firing, pay, benefits, assignments, work shifts, training or other employment related matters are unlawful.
The perpetrator and the victim might be a man or a woman and might be of the same or opposite genders. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are also protected under the sex discrimination laws.
Disparate Impact Policies
A policy that applies to everyone in a company may nonetheless discriminate against one gender, resulting in a disparate impact. For example, a policy that the employee must be able to lift 75 lbs. may affect women more than men. The company can defend a policy that results in a disparate impact by proving that the policy is job-related and necessary for effective business operations. In the above example, lifting heavy weight might be a primary duty of a construction worker.
Sexual Harassment is a Form of Discrimination
Sexual harassment is gender discrimination. Harassment may include unwanted sexual advances, dirty jokes, explicit images, derogatory comments and other verbal, physical or visual assaults on the person’s gender. An isolated minor incident may not be considered harassment, but frequent incidents may create a hostile work environment, which is harassment. Also, a one-time event might be serious enough to be considered sexual harassment, for example sending a companywide email that slanders the worker.
An important element is the unwanted nature of the harassment. The victim, if he or she feels comfortable doing so, should clearly express to the harasser that the conduct is undesirable and unreciprocated. In addition, the victim should, if he or she feels comfortable doing so, report the harassment to the appropriate supervisor or human resources department to put the employer on notice of the matter.
Recover for Workplace Sexual Discrimination and Harassment
To learn more about the remedies and options available in a sex discrimination claim, schedule a consultation with Schneider Wallace. Our attorneys litigate claims in the state and federal courts. For our clients’ convenience, our law firm maintains offices in Scottsdale, San Francisco and Houston.