Laws that Ensure Gender Protection in the Workplace

According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sex or gender is the basis of one of the most widespread types of discrimination in the workplace. This type of discrimination can be committed through: unfavorable treatment of a person simple because of his/her gender; less favorable treatment of a person due to his/her being connected to a group that is associated with people of a particular sex; or bias against someone due to his/her being a transgender, bisexual or gay/lesbian.

With regard to gender identity, which concerns lesbians, gays, bisexuals and the transgender, the Obama administration held that those it referred to are worthy of the same legal protection against workplace discrimination just like everyone else. Thus, due to the move of the Obama administration to include gender identity in the classes protected by EEOC, the latter ruled on July 1, 2011, that job discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and the transgender (LGBT) signified sex-stereotyping and, so, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which was made a law by the US Congress in 1964, forbids all forms of job discrimination in any aspect of employment. According to the website of Cary Kane Legal, this act is meant protect employees and job applicants from discriminatory acts that may be based on color, race, religion, national origin and sex, in matters concerning hiring, promotion, job training, job assignment, wage, fringe benefits, firing, and so forth.

Protecting one’s rights and interests in matters relating to salary in relation to his/her gender has also been made the concern of another law, one that was passed a year ahead of Title VII: the Equal Pay Act of 1963. This law illegalizes sex discrimination in salary scales; it specifically mandates that women and men, who are assigned to perform substantially the same work in the same establishment, should be given the same amount of pay.

Aside from Title VII and the Equal Pay Act, there are also laws that prohibit anyone who has been charged with workplace discrimination from committing any act in retaliation against the person who filed the discrimination charge.

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Common Business Concerns

Workplace discrimination comes in many forms, and affects any employee and any type of work settings or business. Discrimination means unequal treatment to an individual who is of a particularly protected classification resulting to unequal opportunities and treatment. It is generally classified as anything that ensures and builds up inequalities. Employment or workplace discrimination is deemed illegal and considered a criminal offense according to federal and many state laws.

Because the workplace is growing in diversity, many employers are getting overwhelmed of the many different types of people that they have as employees. This confusion can lead to poor rules and policies regarding workplace discrimination and harassment. These often lead to many lawsuits and claims which could be bad to any type of business. Because majority of the provisions written at the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 are pro-employees, many businesses have found themselves fighting against increasing lawsuits from their employees.

Workplace discrimination should first be addressed in the company. Those who have fallen victim to discrimination should report the incident to their immediate supervisor or human resources to make them aware of the situation. Then both parties should explain their sides and the company should make sure that the incident should not happen again, or that the guilty party should be reprimanded. By filing a complaint in your company against the person offending or harassing you can help in documenting the event to be used in court, and this ensures that your legal rights are protected in the workplace. Once the company fails to make any effective action on your case, then you have the option to file a case at the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which would provide you and the company the federal guidelines regarding policies, opportunity regulations, and practices. Once all the options have been exhausted, then a lawsuit can be filed in the federal court.

Once an employee files an administrative case against a fellow employee, the whole company can be put in a bad light, which can be damaging to the business. Once found guilty, the company will be forced to make up for the mistake that they made. Lawsuits are costly, and are taking time and effort from the flow of business. Business morale will also be affected, and it may not be healthy for employees to work in a contentious and drive other business partners away.

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Dealing with Workplace Discrimination

Workplace discrimination and sexual harassment issues are just among the top problems that every employers and employees should be aware and concerned about. According to the Civil Rights Act of 1991, any employee has a right for trial by jury if he or she believes that they are a victim of discrimination or harassment. These can be anything from race, gender, sexual preference, religion or disability, regardless whether it is in physical, verbal or visual forms.

Sexual harassment is a considered a federal felony, and states also have their own laws regarding sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. As the workplace becomes more and more diverse, concerns regarding such issues have become more rampant, and the best way for employers to steer clear of legal risks is to understand what establishes sexual harassment and discrimination and implement a fair treatment for a diverse workplace.

Discrimination based on sex or gender applies to any employee who is treated unfairly due to their gender (while others of the same gender are treated more favorably). It also occurs when a work policy is aimed for everyone but has a negative effect on a particular gender. Clients often represented by the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier SC often file against employers who experience disparities on earnings based on the same amount of work or being victims of unwanted sexual advancements or behaviors from other employees. As specified by the Sex Discrimination Act, any employees are protected from areas of public life such as employment, education, accommodation or housing, and services.

For those who feel they are suffering from sexual harassment or any form of workplace discrimination, it is best to report the incident immediately in order to prevent future uncomfortable situations. Filing charges needs to be within 180 days after the incident, or according to state laws. Although it is a common occurrence to hear women being discriminated or harassed in the workplace, it can also happen to men as well, and they are also protected by the law equally as women are. For employers, it is important to address the concerns on a company level to avoid litigation.

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