It’s 2019 and, unfortunately, employers still treat women unfairly in a wide range of workplaces. Equal pay remains a severe problem. Women remain underpaid compared to men in virtually every occupation. Discrimination based on pregnancy, medical leave and familiar care is at an all-time high. Sexual harassment continues to plague many workplaces. And women are still passed over for promotion into high-level management jobs.
We have been pursuing employers for gender-driven mistreatment for almost 40 years. There are powerful laws protecting women in the workplace and we’ve achieved tremendous successes. All it takes to make a difference is one person to come forward. A single lawsuit can permanently change a work environment, a workforce, or an entire company.
There are more than fifty federal and state laws we use to pursue employers who discriminate on the basis of gender. Some examples:
- Title VII. This is the chief law we use to sue employers for gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace.
- The Equal Pay Act. This is another law we rely on heavily. The majority of employers, in both the public and private sector, still do not provide women equal pay for equal work. “Equal” doesn’t mean identical, though. A woman can sue for pay discrimination if a man is earning more for a job that is substantially equal. It’s not limited to exact matches in job title. Ask, “Am I basically doing work that requires the same skill, effort and responsibility as John but being paid less?”
- The Lilly Ledbetter Act. This law made clear that each paycheck that contains discriminatory compensation is a new violation of the law, no matter how many years or months the discriminatory pay has been in effect. Women can use this law to challenge employer decisions about base pay or wages, job classifications, career ladder or other noncompetitive promotion denials, tenure denials, and an employer’s failure to respond to requests for raises.
- The Family & Medical Leave Act. Women are usually the primary caregiver in every family. More often than not, it’s a female employee who will miss time to care for family members. The FMLA offers powerful benefits to women who must miss time but who want to keep their same position and continue to advance.
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This law protects women at every stage of maternity, from the moment the employer learns she is pregnant. It includes absences relating to the pregnancy, includes the actual maternity leave, and includes and continues on well beyond her return from leave.
- Failure to Promote. Even the most prestigious employers filter women out from top spots. (This Wall Street law firm was assailed for its January 27, 2019 announcement of its newest twelve partners, all but one of whom are male. Women actually began outnumbering men in law school classes in 2016, but still suffer discrimination even in law firms.)
This is just a sliver of the powerful laws available to women who choose to enforce their rights. The most common forms of relief include lost back pay to make up pay differences, court-ordered promotions, and reinstatement into positions where the female employee was terminated or forced out. Juries can also award substantial damages for pain and suffering, and punitive damages to punish an employer and to discourage future discriminatory treatment of women.
Questions about your rights? Privately message us on our business Facebook page, email Jim Garrity at Jim@JimGarrityLaw.com, or call us at (800) 663-7999. All consultations are free and confidential. If we take your case, there will be no fee if there’s no recovery.