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In the Eyes of the Law: 6 Examples of Gender Discrimination and What You Can Do to Protect Your Rights.

September 4, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Socially progressive movements have made significant headway in recent years, tackling racial disparities, gender inequality, and sexual orientation bias. While there has been progress, our society is by no means cured of discrimination.

Like a deep-rooted cancer, workplace gender discrimination is so ingrained in our society, that in many cases, we cannot even recognize it. Only by seeing clear examples of it, can we learn to spot gender discrimination when it rears its ugly head in our own lives. If you, or someone you know, has been affected by gender discrimination, contact a specialist attorney who can review your case, like Duffy Law- title IX lawyer.

Sexual Harassment

The #MeToo campaign put sexual harassment under the spotlight in 2017. However, it still remains one of the most prevalent forms of gender discrimination in the workplace. Unwanted touching, inappropriate jokes, and overtly sexual comments are all examples of sexual harassment. If you feel uneasy, don’t be afraid to speak out. Upper Management must address this issue, or else your next step may be hiring a sexual harassment lawyer. Safety and peace of mind come first.

Hiring Discrimination

Imagine you apply for a job as a sales executive. You are well-qualified for the position, ace the interview, but then find out you were overlooked in favour of a far less-experienced male colleague. Someone in the company reveals that most of the company’s big-ticket clients are male and would prefer to work with a male executive. This is a clear-cut example of discriminatory hiring practices, and you would have a strong discrimination case.

Unequal Pay

This is one of the most talked-about discriminatory issues, but also one of the hardest to pinpoint exactly when it occurs. In many cultures, discussing a worker’s pay and salary are considered taboo, and unequal pay between men often goes undiscovered.

Discriminatory Interview Questions

The hiring and selection process should be the same for both men and women. Interview questions put to women like “do you intend to have children?”, aren’t just discriminatory, they are illegal.

The question does not provide an indicator of a person’s ability to perform the job to a high standard. It is loaded to predict whether the woman may look for maternity leave in the future. This cannot be used as a basis for rejecting a candidate’s application.

Benefit Discrimination

If you do fall pregnant at work, you are entitled to maternity and pregnancy leave. Another example of gender discrimination is when female workers are required to use their annual vacation leave and sick days for their pregnancy. If your company offers benefits, you should be entitled to pregnancy health coverage under the same health plan.


Another arena where discriminatory practices play out is termination. This most often occurs in one of two ways. The first is when the company is making cutbacks. You are asked to leave because the company is going through a period of downturn, but you notice that all the staff having their contracts ended are females, even when their male counterparts working the same jobs, who may have been working in the company for less time, keep their jobs.

The second discriminatory practice which often occurs in dismissal is most common in, but not limited to, male-oriented industries. A female worker may complain of sexual harassment or gender bias, only to find herself unemployed shortly after.

One instance of discriminatory dismissal was widely-publicised after AJ Vandermeyden was fired from Tesla. She had recently complained of sexual harassment and unequal pay. Her lawyer argued that her firing was carried out in retaliation for her complaints.

What can you do to protect your rights?

If you feel like you have been victim to gender discrimination in the workplace, firstly, raise the issue with the company’s human resource department, and your direct superior. It may be a case that the culprit did not realize what they were doing was discriminatory and will apologise and rectify the incident.

If the situation persists or is not resolved, you should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and lodge a complaint against your employer. If this does not provide a satisfactory outcome, contact a legal attorney and file a charge of discrimination.

Try to be quick. You may only have six months to file a charge and be sure to keep thorough records of any correspondence on the matter between you and your employer.

You do not have to suffer gender discrimination in silence. Make your voice heard and bring cases of discrimination to your employer’s attention.

Staff Writer; Shelia Love

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