If your employer makes a decision about you based upon your gender, you are experiencing workplace discrimination and deserve justice. In New York legislation, gender “shall include actual or perceived sex, gender identity, and gender expression including a person’s actual or perceived gender-related self-image, appearance, behavior, expression, or other gender-related characteristics, regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth.”
Gender discrimination can happen to anyone. Under federal laws, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee based upon their assumed gender as well as paying women less than men and allowing sexual harassment to occur.
How Can I Tell If I’m Experiencing Gender Discrimination?
Gender discrimination is very broad and can encompass a variety of workplace issues. Gender discrimination is not just unequal pay for women–it is also being denied employment opportunities because of sex, gender, pregnancy, stereotypes, and marital status.
Examples of gender discrimination include:
- Sexual harassment
- Pregnancy discrimination
- Sexual orientation discrimination
- Marital/Familial status discrimination
- Gender identity discrimination
- Gender profiling
- Association discrimination
To know if you are facing gender discrimination, consider your treatment as compared to other employees. Are you paid less as a woman compared to your male counterparts? Are you passed up for promotions even though you are qualified? Have you been treated differently compared to others in similar positions? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing gender discrimination.
Gender Discrimination Laws
In order to know if you have a case of gender discrimination in the workplace, it’s important to know what the laws are in your state.
New York follows both federal and state mandates as well as New York City-specific regulations.
New York City Commission on Human Rights Legal Enforcement: Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Expression
The New York City Commission on Human Rights, Local Law No. 3 regulates discrimination which includes that on the basis of gender identity, including but not limited to being transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming, as well as gender expression.
Under the law, “gender discrimination can be based on one’s perceived or actual gender identity, which may or may not conform to one’s sex assigned at birth, or based on the ways in which one expresses gender, such as through appearance or communication style.”
Such discrimination is prohibited in employment, housing, public accommodations, discriminatory harassment, and bias-based profiling by law enforcement.
In the workplace, it is unlawful to refuse hire or promotion as well as to fire someone because of a person’s actual or perceived gender, including being or being perceived to be transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming. In addition, it is illegal to compensate or set employment terms differently based upon an employee’s gender.
Such examples of terms would include working assignments, benefits, and workplace harassment.
Other forms of workplace gender discrimination include:
- Purposely and continuously using the wrong pronouns of an employee
- Not allowing employees to use facilities that most align with their gender identity
- Participating in gender stereotyping
- Imposing uniforms and grooming standards that are gender-specific
- Engaging in harassment
- Retaliation against an employee for gender-related reasons
Penalties for such actions can result in civil penalties up to $125,000 for violations, and up to $250,000 for violations that are the result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct.
Equal Pay Act of 1963
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits discrimination based on sex in reference to wages by employers engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce. Employers are not permitted to pay women less than men, solely based on sex, unless the conditions of wages earned are based on:
- A seniority system
- A merit system
- A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production
- A differential based on any other factor other than sex
Penalties for such actions include fines, imprisonment, back wages, attorney fees, and more.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
In a June 2020 Supreme Court ruling, it was determined that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes protections for gay, lesbian, and transgender workers.
The historic 6-3 ruling was written by Justice Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts. Gorsuch wrote, “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”
Seeking Gender Discrimination Justice in New York City
If your rights have been violated in New York as a result of gender discrimination, you deserve justice. To pursue a claim under The New York City Commission on Human Rights, you must do so within one year of the discriminatory act or, in the case of gender-based harassment, within three years of the discriminatory act.
When your claim falls under multiple legal categories, it will become difficult to establish which agency handles the case. It is best to seek legal representation from a New York City employment attorney, like Brown Kwon & Lam, to ensure you receive the justice you deserve.
If you believe that you were a victim of gender discrimination or harassment, call us today.