An Indiana resident is one of two plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought against Quest Diagnostics and a subsidiary alleging gender discrimination against females. The Indiana resident had 15-years of sales experience and had received several performance based awards. Nevertheless, she was passed up for promotion as the position instead went to a male colleague with only 3-years of experience.
The Indiana plaintiff had asked one of her supervisors for the reasons why she was passed up for promotion. She was told that the male employee had asked for the position first and had been a participant in a Sales Advisory Committee. However, the female employee asserts that she was never allowed to participate in this committee.
Promotion practices that have a disparate impact upon women are unfortunately all too common. The presumption is made that women will too often be involved with family responsibilities that will take away from their ability to perform the duties of their jobs. The assumption that their male counterparts will not be burdened with similar obligations often leads to the woman being passed up for promotion. It is also frequently found that women are paid less than their male counterparts while performing the same or similar duties.
The plaintiffs are seeking class action status against Quest along with $100 million in damages. The lawsuit is also asking that the company implement internal procedures eliminate discriminatory practices from continuing.
Though the perception is that gender discrimination is an antiquated practice, systematic gender discrimination does continue to take place. Hopefully lawsuits such as the one that the two women filed will send the message to companies that they must police their own workplaces and make certain that such discrimination will actually someday end.
Source: NJ.com, “Federal law suit alleges gender discrimination at Quest Diagnostics and its AmeriPath Subsidiary,” by Susan Todd, Jan. 12, 2012