Gender discrimination and inequality at workplaces refer to the idea that one’s employment and treatment depend on gender. Discrimination of this type can be an issue with all genders in any field of work. Title Seven of the Civil Rights Act makes it unlawful for an employer to treat employees differently based on sex, gender, or pregnancy. Since Title Seven is a federal regulation, the federal government expects state and local governments to oblige it.
There are other laws set in place as a way to establish workplace equality, such as the Equal Pay Act. The Equal Pay Act requires male and female workers to receive equal pay for equal work. Additionally, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also enforces laws that prevent the exploitation of employees through sexual harassment nationwide.
Federal Laws Governing Gender Inequality
Under federal law, companies and businesses with over 15 employees cannot discriminate based on sex and gender. New York state laws, on the other hand, do not allow any businesses to discriminate based on sex or gender. In New York City specifically, any form of discrimination toward transgender employees is illegal.
Forms of Gender Inequality or Discrimination in new York
Employers and employees alike can express discrimination in many different ways:
- Not getting hired for a job based on one’s gender or sex
- Women get asked if they are married, have children, or plan to during interviews
- Not getting the same raise as the opposite sex coworkers
- Being left out of promotion conversations due to one’s gender or sex
- Getting fired based on gender or sexual orientation
Filing a Complaint for Workplace Gender Inequality in New York
Gender discrimination of any kind in employment places, housing, and schools is entirely prohibited. To file a formal complaint to the state, one may contact the Division of Human Rights by calling 1-888-392-3644. One must voice the complaint within one year of the alleged incident.
Gender Inequality or Discrimination Complaint Investigations
Typically, the New York Division of Human Rights completes an investigation regarding gender discrimination within six months. If the evidence one presents to the case director proves a reasonable belief that an entity discriminated against the victim based on sex or gender, the case will appear before a judge for a public hearing. At the hearing, witnesses are brought forward and cross-examined by the opposing attorney. It is crucial to have proper and professional legal representation at this stage. There will sometimes be a DHR attorney present in these cases as well. If the parties wish to settle the case before the hearing, they can do so with cooperation alongside DHR.
Recourse to Workplace Gender Inequalities in New York
There are a few courses of action to compensate the victim:
- Giving the employee their job back with back pay, or a payment that an employer withheld from the employee due to the court-established discrimination.
- Financial compensation for mental distress
- Hefty Fines and possible penalties
- Punitive damages
- A demand for change in policies and conducted training on gender and sex discrimination
Gender Inequality and the Use of Pronouns in New York
New York law requires all places of public accommodations, housing agencies, and educational establishments to uphold a person’s request to use their preferred name. This protections, therefore, extends to the use of appropriate pronouns, and titles. For example, if an employee requests to go by a different name and pronouns than their birth certificate, employers and businesses may not purposefully ignore the employee’s wishes as that would fall under acts of gender discrimination.
Americans with Disabilities Act, along with New York state law, prohibits discrimination based on disability. All persons with disabilities are entitled to accommodations and fair treatment in the workplace, even if those disabilities are gender or sex-related.
Benefits and Medical Accommodations
Under New York law, all employers must offer their employees the same benefits and conditions regardless of their sex or gender. This can include maternity leave, medical appointments, and family emergencies.
If an employee is undergoing medical surgery for gender-based purposes, the employer must take appropriate steps to provide the employee with the needed time to recover properly.
Maternity and Paternity Leave
All new parents, regardless of gender, sex, or how they became parents (i.e., adoption, foster care, or birth), are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity or paternity leave. In New York specifically, one has the right to take Paid Family Leave or PFL, which is maternity or paternity leave of 12 weeks with job protection. This state protection means that an employer in New York may not fire you during or after your PFL due to missing those work weeks.
Applying for Paid Family Leave
To apply for New York’s Paid Family Leave (PFL), one must complete forms PFL-1 & PFL-2. Follow the instructions here as to how one may file for PFL.
Points to Remember on Workplace Gender Inequality
Legal representation throughout a workplace discrimination incident can be crucial to the case. For opening or appealing a case, it is best to contact the state’s labor and human resources agencies. Furthermore, it is beneficial to retain a licensed attorney in case there needs to be a public hearing in court. If one is the victim of gender discrimination or bears witness to it, some resources could help them recover from possible damages and seek justice within the system.
Contact Pride Legal
If you or a loved one has been discriminated against on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.