Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

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What Is Gender Discrimination?

Gender discrimination is defined as treating a person or a group of person differently based on their gender. In the workplace, this usually occurs when one group of persons receives preferential treatment, or another group is treated with fewer benefits or lower pay, even though the groups are performing the same tasks. Here, the discrimination would be based upon the gender identities of the victimized employees.

Is Gender Discrimination the Same as Sex Discrimination?

Not exactly. Sex discrimination is often based on a person’s physical characteristics. On the other hand, gender is often based on a person’s behavior and social conduct. Therefore, gender can include things like the person’s sexual preference, manner of dressing, or overall appearance. Many jurisdictions include the terms sex and gender included under one category for purposes of discrimination law.

How Is Gender Discrimination in the Workplace Detected?

Gender discrimination in the workplace can be more difficult to detect than other types of discrimination, such as age discrimination or racial discrimination. Evidence of gender discrimination can include:

As with all discrimination cases, the employer needs to intend for the discrimination to occur. That is, the evidence compiled must show that the employer purposely made a decision to discriminate based on gender.

What Is Reverse Discrimination?

Reverse discrimination occurs when a group that is commonly thought of as privileged is treated with less preferential treatment. This typically includes groups such as men and Caucasian persons. These groups are traditionally thought of as “privileged." Thus, reverse discrimination may occur when a person is discriminated against for being a man, or for not belonging to an ethnic minority.

In a gender discrimination setting, reverse discrimination might happen when men are discriminated against in a field where it is predominantly operated by women. Again, the claim must satisfy the basic standards and requisites of proof.

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Gender discrimination can often be subtle and difficult to detect. Sometimes, discrimination might exist for a long period of time before people even realize what’s going on. You may wish to hire a lawyer if you have a claim for gender discrimination. Your attorney can help review the facts of your case and can help file a claim if needed. Also, if you need to be present any hearings, your lawyer can represent you during the procedures.

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Last Modified: 04-28-2014 12:52 PM PDT

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