Sex discrimination is without a doubt the most common type of workplace discrimination, when taken into consideration the wage gap between men and women. Entire industries are known to be hostile towards women. Statistically, corporate culture is particularly difficult for women due to the sexism in which employers and employees are essentially encouraged to participate, or let slide by without intervening. According to Women Scientists and Engineers in the Workplace: Why so Few?, some of the most prevalent obstacles women have in corporate culture include the following:
- Sexist recruitment and hiring practices;
- Sexual harassment;
- Male-oriented corporate culture;
- Reverse discrimination allegations that claim that (white) men face discrimination;
- Women have different set of standards than men;
- Salary gaps between men and women;
- Corporate culture failures to accommodate family-work relationship; and
- Non managerial and lower-status positions are given to women.
Women are less likely to work in such male-dominated industries because of the difficulties and inequality that they are bound to face, and the women who do go into these types of jobs are often faced with sexual harassment, being paid less even if they are more qualified than their male counterparts, and a variety of other types of discrimination. While mainstream U.S. culture has come a long way since the 1950s, there is still a long distance to go before equality reaches the workplace.
Who is Protected?
Sex discrimination applies to both male and female employees. While women are usually the targets of sex discrimination, men can sometimes be the victims, as well. This is particularly true when an employee faces discrimination based on his (or her) sexual orientation. While Missouri does not recognize the LGBT community as a protected class in employment law, Missouri courts have ruled that discrimination against homosexual employees is a form of sex discrimination. Whether you are a male or female employee, you deserve to work, uninterrupted from crass comments and sexist behavior, in a hostility-free environment.
What is a Hostile Work Environment?
30.1% of all federal workplace discrimination charges in Missouri are sex discrimination charges, as reported by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Missouri state law and federal law strictly prohibit discrimination based on sex. Examples of discrimination that is based on the employee or applicant’s sex rather than his or her qualifications include the following:
- Refusal to hire;
- Refusal to promote or give managerial positions;
- Crude jokes and slurs;
- Derogatory comments about women in general;
- Sexual harassment, which includes any unwanted starring, touching, sexual advances, kissing, groping, or inappropriate comments;
- Exclusion; and
- Mockery or making fun of the employee.
Sex Discrimination has No Place in Missouri Offices or Businesses
When the above types of discrimination have gone so far as to detract from the employee’s ability to focus on work and complete his or her tasks, a hostile work environment has been created. Whether the employer has engaged in discrimination or they have allowed discrimination to go on in their workplace, they will be held liable. To hold your employer accountable for damages that you have suffered as a result of discrimination, call the HKM Employment Attorneys LLP today.