Despite efforts to educate employers about sex discrimination, and eliminate it from our workplaces, many subtle (and not so subtle) forms of discrimination still occur. A recent survey polled woman about discriminatory actions they encountered at work. In addition to sexually harassing and discriminatory actions, other subtler biases existed such as not being invited to informal networking activities, being asked to perform menial tasks, pay inequities, and a lack of female leadership at the top.
Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen noted in a graduation speech that a lack of equal opportunity and challenges to combining work and family, along with discriminatory actions, may prevent women from entering the workforce and lead to lower pay. She added that highly skilled women often don’t reach the tops of their professions in certain field such as law and business, which require longer hours, since women continue to bear the lion’s share of domestic and child-rearing responsibilities.
While in some situations depending on the nature, severity and prevalence of these actions, it may be possible to file lawsuit asserting that your employer’s actions have violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, short of filing a lawsuit, are there steps you can take to address workplace discrimination? The answer depends on the nature of your workplace. In some places, it may be possible to have a frank discussion with a trusted colleague and point out the unconscious biases that are affected the workplace and leading to discriminatory conduct. Employers who strive to provide an equitable workplace may not be aware that their actions may unfairly affect women. By increasing awareness of discriminatory actions, it may be possible to help bring about change and address concerns. However, if you raise valid concerns and complaints, and your employer does not take action, then you may want to take steps to file a formal lawsuit.
Unfortunately, in some cases in addition to educating employers about discrimination, filing a lawsuit may be necessary in order to halt, and prevent future, detrimental actions.
For more information or if you have experienced sexual discrimination at work, please contact the experienced Atlanta sex discrimination lawyers at Buckley Beal LLP for an immediate case evaluation.