Gender Discrimination FAQ
Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on gender or sex. It is also illegal for employers to pay employees unequal wages for work that is equal. Unfortunately, these discriminatory practices are still seen in workplace’s today. Reporting and taking legal action against employers who engage in such behavior is important in moving towards change as well as making sure your personal rights are protected. The Orange County gender discrimination lawyers at the Serendib Law Firm are available to help you make sure your voice is heard and you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. The following are the most common questions receive when employees are unsure if they are facing discrimination at their jobs.
- What California Laws Protect Me From Gender Discrimination?
- What Kinds of Actions Qualify as Discriminatory?
- How Is Discrimination Based on “Sex” Different Than if It’s Based on “Gender”?
- If Male Employees Are Being Paid More Than Female Employees, Is That Discrimination?
- What Other Types of Practices Might Be Evidence of Gender Discrimination?
- How Do I Initiate a Complaint if I’ve Suffered From Gender Discrimination?
- What Damages Can I Receive in a Discrimination Suit?
The California Fair Pay Act, California Equal Pay Act of 1949, as well as the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibit employers from discriminating against an employee, or applicant, based on sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression.
Gender discrimination can take many forms including: refusal to hire, wrongful termination, failure to promote, demotions, harassment, denial of protected leave, as well as discriminating against a person in regard to fair compensation or benefits.
The FEHA not only protects employees from how they are treated as a man or woman, it also prohibits discrimination based on “sex.” This includes discrimination regarding pregnancy and childbirth as well as related medical conditions. Further, the FEHA prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression, which is a person’s gender-related appearance and behavior. If you are unsure about whether your treatment at work is unlawful, a knowledgeable gender discrimination attorney in Orange County can assist you in assessing your situation.
Under the California Equal Pay Act, all employees must be paid the same for “substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.” Where there is gender disparity in pay, an employer must present a bona fide factor other than sex, such as education or experience, that justifies a difference in pay.
Aside from being terminated based on your gender, some less obvious examples of discriminating behavior include:
- One sex being regularly excluded from certain meetings or promoted over the other.
- Making harassing comments or sharing offensive content
- Sexual advances offered for rewards or other forms of harassment
- Assigning different tasks to women and men
- Retaliation after an employee reports gender discrimination
Questions about what actions rise to the level of discrimination might be complex, and even if they seem obvious, might be hard to show. Consulting an experienced Orange County gender discrimination lawyer can help make sure your concerns are addressed quickly and properly.
The first step in most gender discrimination cases is to report the violation federally to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or at the state level to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). It is more common to file a complaint with the DFEH because California law offers broader protections in these cases. Mediation is usually the next step following an initial formal complaint. Generally, once all administrative remedies are exhausted, then an employee can file a gender discrimination lawsuit against their employer.
If it is shown that your employer discriminated against you based on your gender, you may be entitled to back pay, front pay, benefits lost, as well as missed bonuses or higher income from raises or promotions that were improperly denied. Pain and suffering damages and compensation for emotional distress may also be awarded. In some circumstances, you may be awarded punitive damages, which act to punish an employer and deter others from acting similarly in the future.
The Orange County gender discrimination attorneys at the Serendib Law Firm are available to answer any further questions you might have about your rights in the workplace. We offer comprehensive and compassionate legal representation to clients throughout Southern California including Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. Please call our office at 1-800-LAW-8825 (800-529-8825) or contact us online to find out more about our legal services.