State and federal laws ban employers from making hiring decisions and taking other employment actions based on gender. Sadly, gender discrimination is still a prevalent problem in the workplace. If you experienced gender discrimination in Bridgeport, you might wonder about your legal options for rectifying the issue.
Contact a local civil rights attorney to discuss your situation. Ruane Attorneys could review your case, suggest appropriate responses, and, if necessary, take your case to court.
Employment Decisions and Equal Pay Violations
Employers may not take gender into account when making employment decisions, including compensation decisions.
An employee might have a claim for gender discrimination if the employer made an employment decision based on the person’s sex. Illegal gender discrimination might occur if an employer considers gender when deciding whether to:
- Interview or hire a qualified person
- Promote a qualified individual
- Offers incentives or bonuses to an employee
- Include an employee in a workforce reduction
- Terminate an employee
- Retaliate for complaints about discrimination in the workplace
Holding someone to a different standard or making assignments based on gender could also be examples of illegal discrimination. Employees who feel they were the target of an employment decision based on their sex or gender identity should consult our lawyers in Bridgeport.
The federal Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay the same wages to all employees with similar qualifications, skills, and duties working under similar conditions. Connecticut General Statute §31-75 also prohibits employers from using gender as a factor in compensation decisions.
If an employee can prove they earn less than other similarly qualified people with the same seniority, a Bridgeport gender discrimination attorney could help bring a claim for equal pay violations. The employer could owe the employee back pay, benefits, bonuses, and other compensation.
Sexual Harassment is a Form of Gender Discrimination
Sexual harassment is distressingly common in many workplaces. Our Bridgeport lawyers handle discrimination cases involving employers allowing workers to be harassed or mistreated due to gender, gender expression, or identity. Illegal sexual harassment can take several forms.
One form is quid pro quo harassment. Someone, often a manager or supervisor, offers a worker promotion or protection in return for sexual favors. Employees risk demotion, firing, or loss of opportunities if they do not comply.
The other form of sexual harassment is creating a hostile work environment. An employee who experiences degrading or embarrassing jokes, comments, or “compliments” from coworkers may have a hostile work environment. Other conditions that might indicate a hostile work environment include sexually themed practical jokes, pornographic images in text messages or emails, and similar conduct.
Taking an Employer to Court for Gender Discrimination in Bridgeport
Workers who feel they have been subjected to discriminatory behavior based on gender should report the conduct to management or the human resources department in writing as quickly as possible. A prompt complaint puts the employer on notice of the issue. Tolerating the behavior in hopes it will change is rarely effective and may limit the employee’s options moving forward.
If a worker feels the employer’s response is inadequate, they could make a complaint to the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO). If the complaint concerns a violation of equal pay provisions, the state Department of Labor will investigate. Sometimes, an employee must file a complaint within six months of the incident that triggered it. In other cases, the employee has 300 days to make a complaint. A local attorney at our firm could explain the administrative process and timeframe for a specific gender discrimination case.
A lawsuit is the last resort but could result in a significant damages award if the court finds the employer guilty of gender-based discrimination. Damages could include lost wages and benefits, reinstatement at an appropriate pay rate, attorney’s fees, emotional suffering, and punitive damages in some cases.
Contact a Bridgeport Attorney for Gender Discrimination in Your Workplace
Discrimination based on your identity is morally wrong and legally prohibited under several state and federal statutes. Despite this, employers continue to treat employees differently based on their sex or gender identification.
If you believe you have a case for gender discrimination in Bridgeport, our firm could help you get justice. Call Ruane Attorneys today to set up a consultation.