Sexual bias continues to be a significant and pervasive problem in the United States. On average, women tend to earn less than their male counterparts and are often underrepresented in executive or supervisory positions. In addition, thousands of people each year are subjected to inappropriate and demeaning sexual discrimination year each, many of whom are women. Sexual discrimination in the workplace is prohibited by both state and federal law, and employers who violate the law can be subject to serious sanctions. Victims of sexual discrimination at the workplace may be entitled to significant compensation and other forms of redress. The best way to determine whether you have a claim is to have the circumstances of your case reviewed by an experienced Oregon employment law attorney. Sexual discrimination cases are highly time-sensitive, so it is important to contact an attorney as soon as you realize you may have a claim. In addition, more information about Oregon state anti-discrimination laws can be found at the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries’ website. If you would like to learn more about federal anti-discrimination laws, please click here to visit the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s website.
One particular way in which sexual discrimination can occur in an employment setting is an employer failing to advance or promote an otherwise qualified employee due to their gender. According to a recently conducted Gallup poll, 15% percent of employed American women feel that they have been unfairly denied a promotion because they were women. Respondents over 50 were the most likely to feel that they had been passed over for advancement. Additionally women who identified as conservative were significantly less likely to feel that they had been discriminated against in this way than self-identified liberals. There are many other ways that a person could be subjected to sexual discrimination at work, including:
-Not being hired because of gender
-Conditioning employment or advancement on sex
-Unwanted sexual advances
-Inappropriate physical or verbal behavior
In addition to prohibiting discriminatory practices, the law also prohibits employers from taking retaliatory action against employees who complain about or report sexual discrimination. This means that an employee who believes that they have been passed over for a promotion or has been otherwise discriminated against is protected from further adverse employment action because they file a complaint. Determining whether to proceed under state or federal law requires a thorough analysis of your case. In certain situations, state law may be more favorable while in others it would be advisable to apply federal law. In addition, federal law currently does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, while Oregon state law does. If you believe that you may have a claim based on sexual discrimination, contact one of the experienced employment law attorneys at HKM today to schedule a free consultation.