Gender Discrimination FAQ

People in the workplace have been fighting for equal treatment for a long time. While there have been some important steps in the right direction, many people still face discrimination based on their gender in the workplace.

It is important for you, as an employee, to understand what gender discrimination is so that you recognize it if you encounter it in the workplace. While you may never be a victim of gender discrimination, you may see it happening and have the opportunity to speak up on behalf of someone else.

What Is Gender Discrimination?

In the workplace, gender discrimination is when an employer takes a negative action against an employee based on gender.

Some of the most common examples of gender discrimination are wrongful termination and refusal to promote someone based on gender. Discrimination can also come in the form of refusing to hire or demoting an employee based on gender.

The difficult part about recognizing gender discrimination is that there are often a number of reasons that an employer might take a negative action against an employee. Keep in mind that gender does not have to be the exclusive reason that an employer takes a negative action. You just need to be able to show that gender was one of the reasons for the negative action.

What Is The Difference Between Gender Discrimination And Harassment?

Discrimination is different from harassment in that discrimination is an act that an employer takes against you because of your gender. Harassment, on the other hand, is when someone treats you poorly because of your gender. Harassment can come from either an employer or a co-worker.

For example, if your employer fires you because you are female, that is discrimination. If, on the other hand, the person who sits next to you calls you an insulting name based on your gender, that is harassment.

What Should I Do If I Am A Victim Of Gender Discrimination?

Say something

The most important step to take as a victim of gender discrimination is to speak up. You should say something as early as possible so that everything can be documented for your claim.

You should start with your company's human resources department or representative. Often, there are procedures in place to report discrimination. If there is a procedure in place, follow all the steps and guidelines.

If there is no procedure in place, no one to report the discrimination to or nothing happens with your claim, you should talk to an experienced attorney who understands discrimination claims. Talking to a lawyer can help you understand your options and what to expect from your case.

Keep a record

You should also keep your own records of what happens both in your workplace and in your case. Make a log starting from the date of the discriminatory act. You record should include events such as:

  • When the incident occurred
  • When you made your report
  • Additional incidents
  • Actions or promises of actions made after you make your report
  • Any retaliation after you make your report

What Are The Time Limits On A Gender Discrimination Claim?

The time limits vary by state, but often you have 180 days from the date of the incident to report gender discrimination. The purpose of a time limit is to make sure that both sides are able to gather evidence and reports from the people involved while everyone's memory is clear and evidence is more easily available.

What Protections Are Available For Victims Of Gender Discrimination?

There are a few federal laws intended to protect you if you encounter gender discrimination in the workplace. Laws like Title VII and the Equal Pay Act will be important parts of your discrimination claim.

Also, keep in mind that your employer cannot retaliate against you for reporting gender discrimination. That also applies if you are asked to testify in someone else's claim. If your employer attempts to retaliate against you, they could be faced with additional consequences.