Discrimination on the basis of gender is a workplace issue that stretches back far into the “good ol’ days” culture of American working society. Only for the past 50 years or so have women started to fight back against stereotypical expectations that they should stay in the house, raise a family and take care of the daily chores while the man goes to work and “brings home the bacon.”
Today, about 57 percent of adult women are active participants in the workforce, which equates to well over 60 million women, according to statistics gathered by the United States Department of Labor. This number has been growing exponentially since 1948, when fewer than 20 million women were part of the labor force. Even more impressive is the fact that 70 percent of women with a child or children under 18 hold employment.
More telling is the statistics that show the percentage of men versus women in the workplace. In 1948, men represented 71.4 percent of the entire U.S. workforce. In 1994, men accounted for 54 percent of the workforce and women accounted for 46 percent. In less than 50 years, women closed that enormous disparity and the numbers have stayed steadily around those percentages in the 21 years of recorded data since.
What this goes to show is that women are just as invaluable to maintaining the United States economy as men are, and therefore any discrimination against a woman in the workplace solely because she is a woman is not only morally reprehensible in a modern society, but is also a violation of federal law.
Any act of treating somebody unfairly or negatively solely because of their gender, whether it is in the area of hiring, firing, assigning pay, job assignments, promotions, making layoffs, required amounts of training, denial of fringe benefits or any other term or condition of employment, is strictly prohibited by all employers in the United States.
Harassing somebody because of their gender is also against the law, and can occur in many forms. Essentially, what constitutes harassment is any activity that creates a hostile or unfriendly work environment (such as an embarrassing or demeaning nickname), or behavior that results in negative action being taken against an employee (such as a woman being fired for not going along with a supervisor’s sexual advances).
Sexual harassment is, of course, a serious type of harassment, and can occur in people of all gender types and employment status.Men can be discriminated against too
By no means can only women be the subject of discrimination and various types of harassment. Men can be sexually harassed and discriminated against as well, and are offered the same protections against such unfair practices.Transgendered individuals are also protected
If an employee or applicant identifies are transgender, meaning they do not identify internally with the gender that they physically display externally, they too are protected under federal law against discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Discriminating against an individual because they identify as a different gender can also take many forms, from requiring them to use a bathroom that they do not feel comfortable using to referring to them as an improper prefix instead of the one which they prefer. Once again, mean-spirited nicknames may also qualify as harassment if they create a hostile, unfriendly work environment.Gender discrimination is not acceptable in 21st century America
Now that the workforce is almost equally distributed between men and women, and now that 70 percent of women who have kids are still holding down steady employment, the old attitude that women should be caregivers and not providers must end. Women are just as capable as making a living for their families as men are, and they deserve the same level of respect in the workplace.
If you have been discriminated against, treated unfairly or harassed solely because of your gender, our experienced legal team at Altman & Altman LLP would be more than happy to look over the details of your case and seek out the justice that you deserve. We offer free consultations and have over 40 years of experience earning financial recompense for our clients.
Call us today at 617.492.3000 or toll-free at 800.481.6199. We are available 24/7.