Who is Responsible for Workplace Gender Discrimination?

Who is Responsible for Workplace Gender Discrimination?

New York gender discrimination attorneys at Leeds Brown handle sex discrimination cases in New York and across the nation. We understand the many different forms discrimination can take. You may be discriminated against because of your pregnancy, or sexually harassed at the office by a supervisor. You may lose a promotion to a less deserving member of the opposite sex, or your boss may fire you because of your refusal to respond to his sexual advances. Although women are more often the victims of gender discrimination, a growing percentage of men are discriminated against as well. The law protects both women and men from gender discrimination. In New York, people who identify as transgender are also protected from discrimination.

Discrimination of any kind should not be tolerated. When it interferes with your ability to go to work or retain your job, you may wish to speak with an employment lawyer who specializes in gender discrimination.

You may be entitled to compensation in the form of lost wages or money for emotional distress. The attorneys at Leeds Brown can help determine who is responsible for the discriminatory behavior and whether or not you have a claim for damages.

What are Gender Discrimination and a Gender Discrimination Lawsuits?

Gender discrimination, or sex discrimination, is most often faced by women, but a growing number of men are also impacted. State and federal anti-discrimination laws protect employees from pay inequality, harassment, and other discriminatory treatment. An employer as a general rule, may not make any employment decision based on a person’s gender or any gender-specific quality. An employer may not hire, fire, promote or refuse to hire someone based on their sex.

There is an exception to this rule that is very narrow. If gender is a bona fide job qualification, an employer may legally base an employment decision on the sex of the individual. For example, being a woman may be a bona fide job qualification for a wet nurse or for an actress to fill the role of a woman in a movie.

What does all of this mean to you? It means you have something to think about if you were recently overlooked for a promotion or terminated. It means that perhaps there is an underlying reason as to why you did not get a bonus last year even though your review was excellent. Does your employer discriminate based on gender?

Some examples of what may be considered gender discrimination are:

  • You are a qualified female applicant but not hired because the company says its clients prefer to deal with men.
  • You are a woman fired due to cutbacks but less senior, less qualified men retain their jobs.
  • You are a qualified male applicant but not hired because the store says its customers prefer to deal with women.
  • You are a female employee passed over for numerous promotions (given to men) despite a documented track record of qualification and success.
  • You receive different (lower) pay or incentives than a member of the opposite sex for the same job.
  • You receive different benefits than a similarly situated employee of the opposite gender.
  • Quid pro quo sexual harassment.
  • Hostile work environment sexual harassment.

Employers are Responsible for Sex Harassment

Under federal legislation called Title VII, an employer may not discriminate against any employee or applicant based on gender, race, religion, pregnancy, color, age or disability. But, not all employers are bound by Title VII in every circumstance. For example, a private business must have at least fifteen employees to be covered by much of the language in Title VII. The age discrimination language applies to employers with at least twenty workers.

New York State has various human rights laws that protect workers even more so than federal ones. For example, a private business in New York State or New York City needs only four employees to be bound by the state anti-discrimination laws. There are numerous rules and regulations that determine who is covered by the different laws and this is where an expert can be of great help. If we know the facts of your situation, we can determine whether or not you have a viable sex discrimination claim against your employer.

If your employer is covered by the appropriate legislation, they might be held liable for any discrimination or harassment perpetrated by their supervisors or other employees. The Supreme Court made clear years ago that employers are subject to what is called “vicarious liability,” meaning the employer is responsible for the actions of its employees.

In order to avoid vicarious liability, the employer must be shown to have “exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct harassing behavior and the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to avoid harm otherwise.”

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in the case of harassment by a co-worker, “an employer is liable if it knew or should have known of the misconduct unless it can show that it took immediate and appropriate corrective action. The standard is the same in the case of non-employees, but the employer’s control over such individuals’ misconduct is considered.”

Contact Gender Discrimination and Sex Harassment Lawyers to File Claim

Leeds Brown is the New York sex discrimination law firm that you want representing you in a discrimination claim against your employer. Our attorneys are experienced, professional, compassionate advocates for the workers of New York City and nationwide. We have been protecting the rights of clients for decades and have the passion, determination and knowledge to win a discrimination case.

Contact Leeds Brown for a free consultation. Our New York gender discrimination lawyers are available around the clock to take your call. You can reach us at 1-800-585-4658.


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