Glendale Sex & Gender Discrimination Lawyer
Sex and gender discrimination can severely impact a victim’s life. The consequences can be far-reaching, from reduced income-earning opportunities and mental anguish to physical injuries in the case of sexual assault. All employees with substantially similar skills should be rewarded with equal pay, regardless of their biological sex or gender identity.
Employees who experience sex and gender discrimination should be able to challenge an employer’s unfair conduct without fear of retaliation. If you’ve suffered discrimination based on your sex or gender, speak with a California gender discrimination lawyer to understand your rights and pursue legal action.
What Is the Legal Distinction Between Sex and Gender?
Understanding the legal distinction between sex and gender in California can help you know your sex and gender discrimination rights. Discrimination laws protect you under each of these the following legal distinctions in California:
- Gender expression. This term refers to a person’s appearance or behavior related to gender. It does not have to match the stereotypical characteristics of their assigned sex at birth.
- Gender identity. The concept of gender identity refers to how a person self-assigns a gender and how they perceive themselves. This can include male, female, a combination of both, neither, or transgender.
- Sex. Government Code section 12926 defines the term as referring to a gender expression or identity, not biological sex assigned at birth. It also applies in the case of pregnancy or breastfeeding.
What Is Gender Discrimination in California?
Sex and gender discrimination includes unfair treatment based on one’s sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or pregnancy. Gender discrimination often occurs when people are treated differently based on their perceived or actual masculine or feminine characteristics.
Examples of gender discrimination include an employer telling a woman that she is not qualified for a job because it is a “man’s job.” Gender identity discrimination refers to treating someone differently because they do not conform to traditional ideas about how a man or a woman identifies themselves.
Gender expression discrimination occurs when an employer treats a person differently because their appearance or mannerisms do not match traditional ideas about how men and women should look or behave.
Types of sex and gender-based discrimination in the workplace include:
- Denied employment
- Refused a job within the organization
- Paid a lower wage than employees with equal skill, experience, or training
- Denied a promotion or advancement
- Intentionally given an undesirable job or schedule
- Denied training or an apprenticeship
- Not being addressed by preferred gender pronoun (misgendering)
- Being required to provide documentation of gender
- Job duty or dress code restrictions
- Sexual harassment
Federal Protections Against Gender Discrimination
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sex. This vital legislation prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of color, race, national origin, sex, or religion. Over the years, the courts have interpreted this protection to include gender identity and sexual orientation. Several gender discrimination cases exhibit this broader interpretation.
For example, in Smith v. City of Salem, 378 F.3d 566 (6th Cir. 2004), a biological male transitioning to female won a decision for having been suspended by their employer. The plaintiff notified their employer of the impending transition and was subsequently suspended. The courts found that the suspension was linked to discrimination for gender non-conforming behavior. This case acknowledged that Title VII protections extend to all forms of gender expression.
Equal Pay Act
The Equal Pay Act is a federal law that prohibits employers from paying employees of different genders different wages for doing the same job. Congress passed the act in 1963 in response to the growing awareness of gender discrimination in the workplace.
While the Equal Pay Act does not require employers to offer equal pay, it does require them to justify any wage disparity between employees of different genders. To prove that a wage disparity is not based on gender, employers must show that the difference in pay is due to factors such as experience, skill level, or education. If an employer cannot do so, they may be required to pay damages to the employee who was discriminated against.
Pregnancy Discrimination Act
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against workers on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The PDA applies to employers with 15 or more employees, as well as to state and local governments and educational institutions.
The PDA prohibits pregnancy-based discrimination in all aspects of employment, including:
- Job assignment
In addition, the PDA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers who need them. For example, an employer may need to provide a larger chair for a pregnant employee or allow her to take more frequent restroom breaks.
Taking Action Against Sex and Gender Discrimination
Several state and federal provisions protect employees from discrimination in the workplace. If discrimination occurs, you can take action against your employer by filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC is a federal agency that enforces gender discrimination laws. The EEOC receives and investigates discrimination charges and works to prevent discrimination before it occurs.
You can also work with a sex and gender discrimination lawyer to help you file a complaint and investigate your case. The lawyers with Berberian Ain LLP work with gender discrimination victims to hold their employers accountable and seek restitution for damages caused by discriminatory practices in the workplace.
State Laws and Regulations
California statutes augment federal legislation and provide a robust framework for victims of gender discrimination to pursue their claims.
California Fair Employment and Housing Act
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is a California law that makes it unlawful to discriminate against an employee based on their gender. Discrimination includes unfair actions in hiring, firing, pay, promotions, and other terms and conditions of employment. Furthermore, FEHA makes it illegal to discriminate against employees based on race and religion.
FEHA also prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and provides employees with a way to seek redress if they have been the victim of such harassment. In addition, FEHA protects employees from retaliation if they report discrimination or harassment. Finally, FEHA also requires employers to take steps to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring in the first place.
California Fair Pay Act
The California Fair Pay Act, which took effect in 2016, is a law designed to close the gender wage gap in the state. The law prohibits employers from paying workers of different genders differently for substantially similar work unless the employer can demonstrate that the pay difference is based on specified factors, such as seniority or merit. The law also requires employers to give equal pay for equal work to employees of different races and ethnicities.
Finding experienced gender discrimination lawyers who understand the relevant legislation can help you pursue your workplace discrimination case. Your lawyer can help you understand your rights under California’s gender discrimination laws and file a gender discrimination lawsuit against all responsible parties if necessary.
How We Can Help Fight Discrimination Based on Gender
A gender discrimination attorney with Berberian Ain LLP can help you determine whether you have a strong gender discrimination case and discuss your legal options. We can help collect concrete evidence of discrimination, such as emails, memos, or written company policies, and interview witnesses about your case.
Additionally, your lawyer can navigate the complex legal process surrounding gender discrimination and handle your case with compassion and fairness.
Contact our law firm today to speak with an experienced gender discrimination attorney in Glendale, California. We can help you hold discriminatory employers responsible for their actions and get you the compensation you deserve.