According to a Pew Research publication, more than 40% of women in the US have been subjected to discrimination because of their gender. While the federal law does have a policy against sex discrimination, the Washington Law Against Discrimination also protects employees from unfair treatment based on gender.
The (RCW 49.60) law doesn’t not only prohibit gender discrimination in the workplaces but also in other areas such as public accommodation, housing, insurance, and credit. Under this law, an individual may file a complaint with the state’s Human Rights Commission or file a lawsuit in a state court.
If you’ve experienced discrimination in the workplace based on your sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, a lawyer from HKM Employment Attorneys can help. With years of experience in employment law, we have the knowledge needed to provide the support you need to file a complaint or lawsuit.
What is Gender Discrimination?
Gender or sex discrimination in employment is when someone is treated differently because of their gender identity. If you have been rejected for employment or harassed in the workplace because of your sex, then that counts as gender discrimination.
While gender and sex are sometimes used interchangeably, in employment law, these terms mean different things. Gender is used to refer to a collection of features that are universally or culturally associated with femaleness or maleness. On the other hand, the term sex refers to an individual’s anatomical or biological identity as a female or male.
What is Considered Gender Discrimination in the Workplace?
Gender discrimination could come in many forms:
- Gender bias hiring practices: An employer may encourage discriminatory practices right from listing, interviewing, and hiring employees. Some policies may also discriminate against women in taking some jobs perceived as traditionally a male role.
- Sexual harassment: This happens when a colleague of the opposite sex makes inappropriate sexual advances or comments, or suggests sexual favors in exchange for a raise or promotion
- Sexual orientation discrimination: This type of sexual discrimination affects members of the LGBTQ community.
- Gender identity discrimination: This involves unfair treatment because of your personal gender identity. For instance, you may be denied access to facilities that best match your identity.
- Unequal compensation, promotion: Differences in compensation and promotions may not be illegal per se, but when gender is the main consideration, then it becomes discriminatory
- Wrongful dismissal: Discrimination happens when an employee is fired on gender-related grounds.
With that said, not all types of gender discrimination are explicit or intentional. Some employers may act on something that ends up being discriminatory towards a certain gender without intending to. For instance, a particular hiring requirement may not say something about gender but may end up keeping women out of certain jobs.
What Are Examples of Gender Discrimination?
Here are common examples of gender discrimination in the workplace include:
You work your way up the corporate ladder to a senior role. Then you learn a male colleague with similar qualifications and experience was hired in the same job position, but is earning more than you. Pay discrimination may also happen when it comes to the allocation of duties.
For instance, you are a top-performing salesperson in the organization, but you are transferred to a less desirable market territory, while a colleague of a different gender and with much lower sales is moved to your area. Given that your colleague is inheriting your client base, he or she will likely make more money leveraging on your initial effort.
Hiring, Promotion, and Firing
Another example is when you apply for a position you have the necessary qualifications and experience, but you are overlooked in favor of someone else because an organization prefers dealing with a particular gender. Similarly, you may be retrenched as a result of company restructuring, yet your colleagues of the opposite gender and with less competence are retained.
Or, you could be ignored each time you apply for promotion despite receiving excellent performance reviews. If the position you applied for is filled with less qualified persons of the other gender, then it may be a case of discrimination.
Your company’s health insurance policy may discriminate against you if it doesn’t cover your spouse on the assumption that he will get his own benefits. It’s more than a coincidence if the wives of your male colleagues are covered by the same policy. That means that you will have to pay for increased health costs on his behalf if your spouse is between jobs.
You could have worked hard for several years, including putting in many hours of overtime. But your employer suddenly demoted you when you informed them that you are unable to work overtime because you just had a baby. As if this was not bad enough, your male colleagues are allowed to cut back on their overtime without any similar consequences.
Examples of sexual discrimination is when your boss or coworker:
- Initiate inappropriate sexual advances
- make indecent comments about your appearance
- Send indecent sexual photos to someone online
- Request sexual favors in exchange for promotion
Get Legal Advice for Your Gender Discrimination Case in Bellevue
If you are experiencing any of these gender discrimination situations, you can engage a competent gender discrimination lawyer in Bellevue. At HKM Employment Attorneys, we understand the negative affect sex, gender, or sexual orientation discrimination can have on employees who just want to do their jobs. We can help you seek the compensation you deserve for your monetary or emotional damages. Reach out to our team in Bellevue today to get started with a consultation to discuss your case.