Although the number of women in the workforce is similar to the number of men, discrimination is still widespread in many workplaces. Women face many types of discrimination, from getting paid less and promoted less to getting worse shifts. If you feel that you have been discriminated against at your job, you can fight it by taking these four key steps to protect your rights.
Reporting Problems to Human Resources
When you first encounter sex discrimination in the workplace, document the event and immediately report it to human resources. By law, your report cannot be used against you to fire you or demote you. Reporting the discrimination also establishes a record of events, which could be useful in case you need to take the business to court.
Recognizing Sex Discrimination in the Workplace
Sex discrimination in the workplace may seem subtle. It could be as simple of a statement as a comment about your ability to endure a challenging project or about your health or energy level simply because you are female. You might also be asked about your marital or parenting status. These are all forms of discrimination. Some events are blatant, such as a supervisor overlooking your accomplishments and awarding a promotion to a less-qualified and less-experienced male coworker.
Report to State Anti-discrimination Agencies
If your human resources department is not taking action about the discrimination you experienced, your next step might be to report it to your state’s employment authorities. Some states have specific governmental departments that deal with discrimination in the workplace. You may eventually need to advance your complaint to a federal agency on anti-discrimination.
Finding an Attorney
When your complaints are not investigated or acted on to your satisfaction, it is a good idea to consult an attorney. Lawyers who work on employment discrimination and similar types of labor disputes may be able to help you to protect your rights. The attorney can explain whether your situation meets state and federal discrimination law violations. If your attorney is not able to negotiate a settlement, your case might be taken to court.
Discrimination of women simply because of their sex is against federal law. If this has happened to you, document the details of each instance. The information you accumulate will be helpful when reporting the actions to human resources and investigative authorities. An attorney is a key resource to protecting your rights to not be discriminated against in the work environment.