Signs of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace


Gender bias or discrimination can create uncomfortable, unwelcoming, and even unsafe work environments. In addition to harming employees and productivity, gender discrimination can create a poor reputation for a company as an unfair employer. Avoid gender discrimination by learning the warning signs in your workplace.

Companies and employees alike should strive for safe, comfortable workplaces, where each individual is treated with respect. Sadly, this isn’t always true, and certain employees may find themselves facing discrimination for something as simple as their gender. It can be a difficult issue to tackle, but protecting employees from the negative effects of gender discrimination should be a concern for every employer.

Signs of Gender Discrimination

Pay Inequality

Gender-related pay inequality has long been a point of contention for many workplaces and law makers. Equal pay laws have been introduced in many states to ensure that workers are paid fairly for their work, regardless of their gender. Still, it is possible for workers to be paid less because of their gender. If you notice that you are paid less than others in similar positions, or who are doing similar work, you may be the victim of gender bias.

Unfair Interview Questions

Language is powerful, and the use of it can reduce or strengthen discrimination. The questions asked in an interview should focus on your qualifications and your ability to mesh well with your coworkers. Women may be asked about their children or future plans for children, which may lead hiring managers to pass over qualified female candidates if they are worried that they will be less committed to their work because of their family. Transgendered applicants may also experience inappropriate, invasive, or gender-biased questions. Men are also not immune from gender bias and may be asked gender-skewed questions.

Positional Bias

Hiring and promotion practices also can bring gender bias to light. Women and transgender individuals may be passed over for promotions that they have earned, but gender biases can be less blatant. Qualified women may be hired to other roles, but administrative positions may be filled entirely by women as well. A male candidate who is more qualified may be passed over for a female candidate due to preference, especially for traditionally female-occupied positions, such as secretary.

Terminations Due to Gender

It is illegal under federal law to fire an employee on the basis of their gender alone. Employees who are fired for choosing to start a family or who speak up about discrimination and demand equal treatment may be the victims of gender discrimination.

Sexual Harassment Without Consequences

Sexual harassment is also illegal, but some workplace cultures may turn a blind eye to harassment or even encourage it. Legally, companies must implement sexual harassment policies, but companies may fail to enforce these policies. Companies may also retaliate against employees who make complaints about sexual harassment.

It is unlawful for companies to ignore sexual harassment complaints. If the offender is allowed to continue, or is given a light punishment for the sake of appearances, sexual harassment may continue to worsen. If a company does nothing about sexual harassment claims, victims can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which will investigate the claim and deal with companies found to be in violation of federal harassment regulations.

There is no excuse for employers to allow gender bias in the workplace. All companies should actively work to educate employees on the signs and consequences of discrimination and harassment. If you feel that your employer is violation gender discrimination laws, you should seek the help of a Memphis employment law attorney. They can help you file complaints with the appropriate government agencies and help you fight for your right as an employee to a safe work environment.

Donati Law, PLLC, has been helping Memphis workers for more than 30 years. Backed by more than 100 years of collective experience, our team of employment lawyers is prepared to tackle even the most complex cases. We are committed to providing personalized legal service to every client. We are passionate about what we do, and approach every case with a unique strategy.

Learn how we can help you with a consultation. Contact our offices at (901) 209-5500 today!

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