The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prohibits workplace and hiring discrimination based on gender. You have the right to file an action for relief if an employer treated you unfairly based on your sex. In addition to hiring and wage-related matters, incidents of harassment or allowing a hostile work environment to exist may place an employer in legal jeopardy.
If an employer fired you, passed you up for a qualified promotion or refused to hire you based on your sex, you could sue for financial relief. Your legal action may provide compensation for the income you would have earned. In some cases, courts may also order employers to pay additional punitive damages for their discriminatory practices.
What could others gain from my actions?
As shown by a case reported on the EEOC Newsroom website, a discrimination issue could lead to a large nationwide action. In the reported case, a furniture retailer with coast-to-coast locations settled a sex discrimination suit by agreeing to pay several million dollars in financial relief. The settlement resulted from the company not hiring qualified women applicants.
In addition to the monetary settlement, the retailer will implement discrimination training and create a recruitment program for women. As specified in an agreed-upon consent decree, the company will appoint a coordinator to oversee the implementation of the new programs. The remedial actions taken by the company will affect both past and future applicants.
What may a consent decree offer?
A company facing allegations of discrimination may agree to the terms of a court-approved consent decree. In exchange for implementing remedial actions and providing monetary compensation, an employer may avoid litigation.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects both employees and job applicants from wage and hiring discrimination based on sex. An employer’s unlawful practices may, however, require legal action to obtain relief.