Proving Gender Discrimination
Despite more than 50 years of federal and Ohio state laws being enacted to prevent it, gender discrimination remains pervasive in nearly all facets of American life. Equally distressing, proving one has been discriminated against because of one’s gender remains exceedingly difficult.
The Columbus, Ohio gender discrimination lawyers with the Friedmann Firm have helped many clients file complaints and pursue lawsuits related to unequal and abusive treatment in the employment setting. Our experiences have provided us with the following insights, which we will gladly discuss in more detail with people who believe they are being discriminated against because of their gender. No-cost, confidential consultations can be scheduled by calling 614.610.9755 or filling out this online contact form.
What constitutes gender discrimination?
The law forbids discrimination based on gender when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. (See https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sex.cfm)
Gender discrimination occurs when a person is discriminated against or harassed because of their gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. This type of harassment may occur when a person is expected to act a certain way based on his or her gender. The law protects employees from being discriminated against if they are harassed for not acting stereotypically masculine or feminine.
The relevant gender discrimination laws mandate things like equal pay for equal work, equal promotional opportunities and benefits, and the opportunity to qualify for jobs regardless of gender.
Which federal laws protect people from gender discrimination?
A Columbus gender discrimination lawyer deals primarily with the following six federal statutes:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits all forms on unequal treatment based on physical sex and gender expression in hiring, pay, and conditions of employment.
- Equal Pay Act, which amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require the same wages or salaries for men and women who do essentially the same jobs for the same employer.
- Family and Medical Leave Act, which mandates up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for dealing with a health problem being experienced by the employee or someone the employee provides care for.
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which makes it illegal for an employer to fire, reassign, or reduce hours for a woman who has become pregnant or just returned from giving birth without stating a defensible reason for doing so (e.g., a pregnant woman cannot legally work with certain chemicals).
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which makes it illegal for educational institutions and training programs to deny equal opportunities to male and female students and employees, and also offers protections to people who report sexual harassment or sexual assaults in educational or training settings.
- S. Code Title 42, Chapter 21, which codifies the federal civil rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Figuring out which provisions of which laws offer remedies for a person who has suffered gender discrimination is one of the main reasons to consult with an experienced civil rights attorney. A legal adviser and representative will also know how to collect, organize, and present all the evidence needed to support a gender discrimination claim and succeed with a lawsuit.
How can gender discrimination be proven under Title VII?
The largest body of gender discrimination case law involves employment discrimination claims brought under Title VII. Courts have developed a three-step process for deciding whether a person,was discriminated against because of his or her gender.
Step one requires the person making the allegation of gender discrimination to state a prima facie (“at first look”) case by showing four things:
- The person is a member of a group covered by Title VII.
- The person was qualified for the position.
- The person suffered an adverse employment action.
- The job or promotion went to a person who was not qualified or remained unassigned despite a need by the employer.
The case requirements may vary slightly depending on the jurisdiction where the case is filed, as well as whether the discrimination involves a failure to hire, or a termination. When the employee can establish the four elements of a prima facie case, the burden then shifts to the employer to prove that the termination, was for a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason. Employers typically argue that the person alleging gender discrimination lacked proper qualifications, was unable to perform his or her job, or violated work rules or company policy.
The final step involves the employee and their Columbus gender discrimination lawyer presenting evidence that the employer’s stated reasons were pretext — unjustified explanations that were either made up, or given after the fact to cover up discriminatory intent. Evidence of pretext can come from statements made by managers and supervisors, records that show gender imbalances in hiring and promotions, emails, text messages, recordings, wage and salary differentials, and testimony from former or other employees. If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your gender, contact one of our attorneys today for a free consultation.
Rachel was absolutely amazing. As an attorney she really took the time to really listen to my concerns. She was honest and kept me informed every step of the way. The outcome was favorable on my behalf and I appreciate her efforts to achieve a good outcome. I would highly recommend her and the Friedmann firm to represent me if ever needed in future.
Working with Rachel Sabo from Friedmann Firm was absolutely amazing! She upholds integrity, honesty and without a doubt fights for what is right! Rachel was extremely transparent and real! Please don’t let wrong be right, Rachel will strive to advocate and put her whole heart in obtaining resolve in your situation! What an absolute blessing, she won my case in less than 1 week💪
My experience with the Friedmann Firm is an absolute 5 stars. From my very first call with Karen, to all of my communication with Rachel, everything exceeded all of my expectations. Rachel and Karen were so caring and understanding in a very sensitive situation. They responded immediately to any questions or concerns I had. I would HIGHLY recommend the Friedmann Firm. They are caring, professional, understanding, and I would trust them with any issue I have in the future.
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm were fantastic to work with. The thought of needing an employment lawyer was scary for me, it was confusing and complex. But Rachel listened, asked questions and took time to really understand me and my priorities. I felt calm, supported and excited for the first time in weeks after talking to her!! We worked together to review everything, set expectations and meet my priorities! Thanks Rachel and team for all your work!!!
Rachel Friedmann of the Friedman Firm was my attorney for a very recent legal matter. I would highly recommend Rachel based on her legal knowledge, her honest appraisal of the matter and expected outcomes, her open communication and timely responses to my questions and the matter itself, and her steadfastness in dealing with the opposing counsel until a final agreement was reached.
Rachel and her staff went over and above the call of duty to help me achieve fiscal resolution to my legal issue. She wasn’t always available to talk but was always responsive via text and email when in court out of the office and even on vacation. I feel she earned her percentage cut.
Couldn’t be happier with the representation I received from Jamie Bailey on my civil litigation case. She worked tirelessly to resolve the case and in the end negotiated a fair settlement on my behalf. I would highly recommend her to anyone! Thanks for everything Friedman law firm.
Friedman Firm was a great help in a difficult time in my life. They went above and beyond to get me back on track. Rachel was so good to work with and is extremely knowledgeable about the law and employment rights. Can't thank them enough for all there hard work. Highly recommend them to anyone.
The Friedmann Firm (specifically Pete Friedmann) represented me through what seemed like a never ending employment discrimination suit. The suit was filed just before Covid shut everything down in 2020. Add to that a former employer who refused to admit fault. In spite of all of that, Pete stood resolute in his representation of me and working for the best outcome for me. We ended up settling prior to trial and I was more than satisfied with the results. Pete was always available to answer questions and reassure me throughout this process. I highly recommend The Friedmann Firm!
Pete Friedmann and his firm are fantastic. He represented me for more than a year going through a suit with a previous employer. He walked me through every step of the process and was always quick to respond to any questions I had. My settlement came in and we parted ways with both sides being pleased with the outcome. I highly recommend the Friedmann firm and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again in the future if the need arose. Thank you, Pete!
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm have been amazing to work with. Rachel was very helpful, listened to our concerns and took our case. She communicated well throughout and really worked for us. We were very well represented!
I loved working with The Friedmann Firm. Rachel and Jamie are exceptional lawyers and were diligent in reviewing my case and letting me know of my options. Jamie was extremely thorough and handled even the smallest details of my case with ease. The entire process was seamless and they were always quick to respond to emails and calls. I would definitely recommend working with The Friedmann Firm.
I would recommend Rachel Sabo Friedmann and the Friedmann firm for severance negotiations. Rachel was always available and responsive and made an effort to ensure I was updated on every step of the process. Her diligent efforts produced a prompt resolution and we are very happy with the results!