Daugherty Law Group

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Gender Discrimination

What is Gender Discrimination?

The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, particularly on the ground of sex. In other words, an employer treats some people less favorably than others because of their sex. 

What is the Difference Between Sex and Gender Discrimination?

Sex and gender discrimination are uniquely different but similar. A person's sex refers to whether they are genetically male or female. Gender refers to which sex someone most closely identifies with. An individual may be discriminated against at work because of his or her sex such as denying a job to someone because she is female. Or someone may be discriminated against because he is genetically male, but identifies more as a female. Employment laws protect against these and other situations.

What are some examples of Gender Discrimination?

Gender discrimination can be obvious or obscure. Notwithstanding increased attention to gender equality , gender biases remain. Here is a list of common examples of sex discrimination at work:

  • Unequal Pay- Men and Women may not receive the same pay despite having the same position and status at work.
  • Different Job Responsibilities- Men and Women may be given different duties such as men being asked to lift heavy items or women relegated to handle only administrative duties. 
  • Interview Questions- Women being asked if they have children or plan to have children. 
  • Advancement opportunities- Men and Women should receive equal opportunities for advancement without their gender or sex being considered. 
  • Gender Specific Dress Codes- Men and Women should have similar dress codes, women should not be required to wear only dresses and skirts. 

Who is protected under Gender Discrimination Law?

Title VII of the Civil Rights  Act applies to employers with at least 15 employees. In other words, all employees are protected if their employer has at least 15 employees.

Connecticut State Law

Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act also protects people against discrimination on account of race, gender, age, national origin, religion and disability.  Connecticut law goes further and prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. An employer may not terminate a person for “coming out” at work.

What Does "at will" Employment Mean?

The majority of employees are "at will," which means that their jobs can be terminated by their employer ( or they can quit) at any time for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. However, the employer can not terminate an employee for an illegal reason. If an employer terminates an employee for an illegal reason, such conduct may violate an anti-discrimination statute.

How Can the Daugherty Law Group Help?

With a strong presumption that employment is at will, the burden is on the worker to prove the exception, that she has been the victim of gender discrimination or some other form of discrimination. 

The federal statutes that protect employees ( Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, American with Disabilities Act, etc.) all have complicated procedural requirements as a prerequisite to filing suit. We can help evaluate your case, assist you though the procedural process, negotiate with your employer, and if necessary, represent you at trial.  

If you believe you have been discriminated against, please contact our lawyers to discuss your legal options.