Sex Discrimination In Employment

If you have faced workplace discrimination because of your gender or because of pregnancy, you are not alone. In 2005, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 75,428 discrimination complaints. It filed 383 lawsuits against offenders for unfair or illegal treatment due to race, sex, disability, religion and other factors. The EEOC recovered $271.6 million in financial awards for claimants without going to trial, often through settlements and mediation. Even more money was recovered in litigation. If you feel like have been treated adversely based on your race, sex, religion or another protected factor, contact an experienced employment law attorney about your possible claim today.

Fort Lauderdale Employment Discrimination Attorneys

Our lawyers and staff are as diverse as the clients we represent:

  • Karen Coolman Amlong was the first woman elected to the Florida Legislature from Broward County and the first state coordinator of the Florida chapters of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
  • Bill Amlong is a former investigative reporter who covered local, state and national politics and was nominated by the Miami Herald for three Pulitzer Prizes.
  • Jennifer Daley, senior counsel, is the daughter of a St. Croix fisherman and a former law clerk for the Florida First District Court of Appeals.
  • Rani Nair Bolen, formerly a Marriott International Corp. corporate accountant, is the daughter of two Indian Ph.D. biochemists.

Our staff members include a paralegal who is a columnist covering issues faced by gay and bisexual women, a day-job IT guy whose real profession is as a musician, a single mother from Grenada and a third-degree black belt Thai kickboxer from Sri Lanka.

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Under federal law and many state laws, employers must not discriminate on the basis of gender. Employers may not discriminate in decisions regarding hiring, advancement, transfer, pay, benefits and other employment-related conditions. Both women and men are protected from gender-based discrimination. If your employer or a prospective employer has discriminated against you based on your gender, consult an attorney from The Amlong Firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to learn your legal remedies.

Title VII

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans sex discrimination by employers with at least 15 employees. Any discrimination on the basis of sex that affects the terms and conditions of employment is illegal. Sex discrimination occurs in many forms, such as when a woman does not get a raise because her boss believes that she is on the "mommy track," when a man is not promoted because he does not fit a gender stereotype or when a woman is not hired because the job she seeks is a "man's job." The employer does not have to be of a different sex than the victim of discrimination.

Sex discrimination can happen in two ways:

  • Disparate impact discrimination occurs when an employer implements an apparently neutral regulation that has an adverse effect on one sex. If the policy relates to a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ), then it is acceptable; otherwise, it may be sex-based discrimination.
  • Disparate treatment discrimination is more straightforward. It occurs when the employer treats an individual or group differently because of sex.

Equal Pay Act

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women continue to earn only 75 cents for every dollar that men earn. The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay employees the same amount for equal work, regardless of gender. Equal work means that the jobs in question require equal skill, responsibility and effort and are performed under similar conditions for the same employer.

The Equal Pay Act does not apply if one worker is more productive or has more seniority. While job duties must be the same, job titles do not need to be identical. The Equal Pay Act applies to wages and most benefits.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Title VII, through its Pregnancy Discrimination Act amendment, protects pregnant women from discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Employers may not discriminate in hiring, provision of leave, benefits or other conditions of employment. Pregnant employees must be treated the same as other workers.

Sexual Harassment

Harassment on the basis of sex is prohibited by federal law. Sexual harassment takes two forms:

  • Quid pro quo harassment occurs when some benefit of employment depends on an employee's submission to unwelcome sexual conduct or requests. If the employee does not submit to the request, the benefit will be denied or the employee will experience an adverse employment decision.
  • Hostile environment harassment occurs when the actions of supervisors, co-workers or customers create an intolerable, abusive working environment or significantly interfere with the employee's ability to work.

You do not have to tolerate sexual harassment. Make the situation known to your employer through the proper channels. Speak with an attorney for advice on how to proceed.

Consult An Employment Law Attorney

Employees and applicants for employment have the right to be free from sex discrimination. Hiring, firing, training, promotion, compensation, benefits and other aspects of the employment relationship should never be based on gender unless gender is a bona fide occupational qualification. If you are concerned about gender discrimination, contact an attorney at The Amlong Firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to discuss your case.

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