State and federal laws prohibit employers from making employment decisions based on a person’s sex or gender. But many flout the rules, causing significant harm to employees and applicants. You might be entitled to pursue a legal claim against an employer if you were subject to an adverse employment decision, such as denial of a job or promotion due to protected characteristics. The gender discrimination lawyers from Cruz Law Firm, P.A., can help you take legal action to demand the accountability and justice you deserve after facing workplace discrimination.
With almost two decades of combined experience, our legal team has the knowledge and resources to evaluate your legal options and identify the best strategy for success. Our attorneys are deeply familiar with the state and federal court systems, having taken over 100 cases to trial, and we can handle even the most challenging employment discrimination claims.
We are committed to providing effective, compassionate legal representation and personalized service to every client. We know how difficult it can be to face gender discrimination, so we are ready to handle every detail of your case and make the legal process go as smoothly as possible.
Want to speak to a Tallahassee gender discrimination attorney about your case and options? Then contact Cruz Law today.
What Is Gender Discrimination?
Gender discrimination occurs when a person receives disadvantageous or unfair treatment due to their sex or gender. In the workplace, gender or sex discrimination involves an employer taking adverse actions due to a worker’s sex or gender in areas such as hiring, firing, making job assignments, awarding promotions, paying, training, and providing fringe benefits.
Sex and gender discrimination may also involve treating workers differently based on sex or gender stereotypes or because a worker fails to conform to the employer’s expectations about how someone of a particular sex or gender should behave.
Discrimination can also take the form of harassment of a worker due to their sex or gender. Such harassment may or may not be sexual in nature.
It is also important to note that the victim of discrimination can be of any sex or gender, as can the perpetrator.
What Is the Difference Between Sexism and Gender Discrimination?
Although anti-discrimination laws and the courts use the terms “sex” and “gender” interchangeably, sexism and gender discrimination are distinct. Sexism or “Sex discrimination” involves treating a worker unfairly due to their biological sex. In contrast, gender discrimination involves unfair treatment of a worker based on how the worker identifies concerning their sex or gender. Gender discrimination can also include unfair treatment or harassment of transgender workers.
Examples of Sex and Gender Discrimination at Work
Behaviors that constitute sex or gender discrimination in the workplace include:
- Offensive, demeaning, or derogatory comments about a worker due to their sex or gender, or generally about a particular sex or gender.
- Comments about a worker’s failure to conform to societal expectations or stereotypes about a specific sex or gender.
- Making hiring, firing, pay, promotion, and job assignment decisions based on a worker’s sex or gender or based on the employer’s expectations or stereotypes about a particular sex or gender.
- Requiring employees to dress or act in a manner that conforms with the employer’s expectations of sex or gender roles.
- Asking inappropriate questions about a worker’s sex or gender identity.
- Facially neutral workplace policies that disparately impact one sex or gender.
- Physical touching of an employee because of that employee’s gender or sex.
Laws Against Gender Discrimination in Florida and US
Several federal and state statutes prohibit sex and gender discrimination in the workplace, including:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) – This federal law prohibits employment discrimination based on a worker’s protected status, which includes their sex or gender.
- Equal Pay Act of 1963 – This federal statute amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to prohibit sex-based wage disparity or discrimination. Employers may not pay employees of a particular sex less than workers of another sex for the same work.
- Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) – This state law prohibits discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender.
How to Prove Gender Discrimination
Proving that you have been the victim of sex or gender discrimination at work can be challenging. Employers rarely admit to discriminating against workers due to their sex or gender, so there may be no direct evidence of the discrimination. Instead, you may have to rely on circumstantial evidence that establishes discrimination through inference. Common examples of evidence used in sex and gender discrimination lawsuits include:
- Employment agreements or employee handbooks
- Pay stubs and income records
- Performance reviews
- Witness testimony
- Sex or gender demographic data related to the employer’s hiring, firing, promotion, pay, and duty assignment decisions
- Emails, text messages, social media posts, or contemporaneous notes of spoken comments containing offensive, demeaning, or derogatory language about sex or gender or a worker’s sex or gender
- HR reports of sex discrimination or harassment that the employer failed to act on
To prove sex or gender discrimination occurred, your attorney must show that you are qualified for your position and were treated less favorably than similarly situated workers of another sex or gender.
In claims involving the Equal Pay Act, you may need to show that you possess the same skills, education, and experience as co-workers of another sex or gender who are paid more than you. Although an employer can offer a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its employment decisions, you can present evidence that the employer’s reason is a pretext for sex or gender discrimination. Such evidence may include:
- Close temporal proximity between offensive or discriminatory comments or behavior and the adverse employment action you experienced.
- A pattern or practice of employment decisions that strongly suggest sex or gender discrimination as the real motivating factor.
Types of Damages in a Gender Discrimination Lawsuit
You may have the right to seek compensation for financial losses and personal suffering you experienced due to sex or gender discrimination in the workplace. A discrimination lawsuit could provide you with damages or compensation that include:
- Back pay, including base wages or salary, tips, overtime pay, bonuses, commissions, and fringe benefits
- Front pay and fringe benefits to compensate for sex-based wrongful termination or denial of promotion, training, and career-advancement opportunities
- Compensation for emotional distress caused by humiliation, embarrassment, or anxiety
- Reinstatement to a position you were transferred or terminated from due to your sex or gender
- Reimbursement of your court costs and attorney’s fees
- Punitive damages if your employer intentionally discriminates against you
Statute of Limitations for a Gender Discrimination at Work Claim
Under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations, you usually have 180 days after suffering an act of sex or gender discrimination to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. However, if the alleged discrimination is also prohibited by state or local law, you have 300 days to file your charge. In addition, you have 365 days to file a charge of discrimination with the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR).
You may receive a right-to-sue notice from the EEOC after it investigates your discrimination claim. This notice authorizes you to file a sex or gender discrimination lawsuit in federal court. Your case must be filed within 90 days of receiving the EEOC notice.
However, if you have a pay-based sex or gender discrimination claim under the Equal Pay Act, you do not need to file an EEOC charge before filing your federal lawsuit. Instead, you may go directly to court, filing suit within two years from the date you received discriminatory pay or three years if your employer willfully discriminated against you in your pay.
How a Employment Lawyer in Tallahassee Can Help in a Sex and Gender Discrimination Case
A Tallahassee employment lawyer from Cruz Law can help in your sex or gender discrimination case by pursuing accountability from your employer after you have been the victim of workplace discrimination. Our firm will handle all the details of your discrimination case, including:
- Obtaining evidence that we can use to prove your employer discriminated against you based on your sex or gender.
- Documenting the financial and personal losses you are suffering due to your employer’s discrimination, such as lost pay or emotional distress and suffering.
- Reviewing your legal options with you and explaining what you can expect at each stage of your discrimination claim.
- Preparing and filing your discrimination charges with the EEOC or FCHR and communicating with agency officials or your employer’s representatives on your behalf.
- Taking your claims to court and trial, if necessary, to seek the financial relief and justice you deserve.
Contact Our Tallahassee Gender Discrimination Law Firm Today
Have you been the target of gender or sex discrimination in the workplace? The dedicated team at Cruz Law can help you demand accountability and restitution from your employer for their discriminatory actions.
We serve Florida workers in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, and the Florida Panhandle. Contact our Tallahassee gender discrimination law firm today to discuss your legal options. We look forward to meeting you and finding out how we can help.