Gender Discrimination

Gender Inequality at Your Workplace?

Posted in Gender Discrimination on November 23, 2015

Gender discrimination in the workplace has the ability to affect many people, and gender discrimination can be experienced in small companies as well as big ones. In September, Microsoft became the latest tech firm to be accused of gender discrimination. The class action lawsuit charged that the company unfairly discriminates against female employees by giving women lower scores in Microsoft’s numerical ranking, keeping women from being promoted to higher level positions.

Microsoft is only one of many companies that have been accused of gender discrimination and if you or a loved one has been discriminated against due to gender, The Law Offices of Joseph & Norinsberg  are dedicated to fighting for your rights. Contact our office for a free case evaluation.

What is Gender Discrimination?

Gender discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of that person’s sex and can happen at any part of the employment phase including hiring, terminating employment, and compensation. Gender discrimination can come in a variety of forms such as taking women less seriously than men, preferring or promoting one applicant over another of equal or greater qualifications based on whether the person is a woman or man, or treating someone less favorably because of his or her connection with an organization that is generally associated with people of a certain sex. Though women are more likely to be discriminated against based on gender, depending on the occupation, men are discriminated against in the workplace, as well.

What Law Governs Gender Discrimination?

Gender discrimination in the workplace is considered a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws. Gender discrimination against an individual because of gender identity, including transgender status, or because of sexual orientation is also a violation of these laws. New York City Human Rights Laws, particularly, prohibit discrimination in employment based on gender, including gender identity, and under this law it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to refuse to hire, terminate, or discriminate against an individual based on gender. In conjunction, New York City and State have retaliation laws in place if an employer retaliates against an employee for seeking justice.

Need Legal Advice?

Being discriminated against at your workplace based on your gender is never an easy matter and retaliation for standing up for your rights is a real fear. Though this fear is real, the federal government as well as New York State protects its citizens against this form of discrimination and retaliation. The Law Offices of Joseph & Norinsberg represents employees who have been discriminated against on the basis of sex. We are committed to enforcing the rights of employees who have been subjected to discriminatory decisions in the workplace as a result of stereotypes and erroneous assumptions about their abilities and performance based on sex. If you or a loved one has been discriminated against based on gender, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (212) JUSTICE or info@employeejustice.com for a free case evaluation.

California Gender Discrimination Case Will Have National Impact

Posted in Gender Discrimination on April 20, 2015

Gender SymbolsOver the past few months, talk about women’s rights and workplace discrimination has centered around one name: Ellen Pao.  Ellen Pao is the current interim CEO of the internet giant, Reddit, who boasts an Ivy League education, including a law degree from Harvard.  Unfortunately, it is not her impressive credentials that have thrust Pao into the spotlight; it is the gender discrimination lawsuit that she filed against her former employer, Kleiner Perkins, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.

Pao’s Story

Pao’s lawsuit brings three legal claims: gender discrimination, retaliation, and failure to take steps to prevent discrimination, all under California law.  The factual basis for each claim is similar:  Kleiner Perkins established a “good old boys” type working environment where Pao was treated differently and unfairly because of her gender; and when she complained, she was fired.  Pao contends that she was a top performer, who benefitted the company’s bottom line, but was held back from promotions and other earning opportunities because of her gender.  Among other instances of discrimination, she was excluded from male only meetings, including one with former Vice President Al Gore.

Kleiner’s Story

Kleiner, of course, denies the allegations, and has attempted to paint Pao as a difficult person to work with, citing her personality as the reason she was not promoted and eventually fired.  The company has stated that it has made efforts to establish a workplace friendly to both genders and has cited statistics showing that it employs more females than the average venture capital firm.

The Trial

The month-long trial is nearing conclusion as closing arguments have begun.  A jury will decide the verdict.  There’s a lot at stake for both parties. Pao claims $16 million in lost wages and other compensatory damages.  On top of that Pao is seeking well over $100 million in punitive damages, intended to punish Kleiner for the company’s bad behavior.  Kleiner had attempted to remove the punitive damages claim, but the judge allowed it to proceed.

Future Impact

Though Pao’s claims were brought under California law, the impacts of the case will be felt in New York and nationally for a variety of reasons.  First, the gender discrimination and retaliation laws Pao sued under are similar to federal and New York state law.  Further, the widespread media attention the case is receiving is already impacting employers, some of whom have already sought out consultants to improve their working environments.  There is some concern that employers will shirk away from hiring women in the already male dominated tech and investment fields for fear of lawsuits.  However, this would be a mistake, as failure to hire based on an applicant’s gender is also illegal.

To Learn More

Whether you are a male or a female, if you’d like to learn more about what your rights are under New York and federal gender discrimination and retaliation laws, contact the attorneys at Joseph & Norinsberg  at (212) JUSTICE or by e-mail at info@employeejustice.com today.

Much Progress Made, Much to Be Made in Gender Discrimination

Posted in Gender Discrimination on February 9, 2015

Pretty girls having fun, forming moustache from hair, drinking b

McSorley’s.  It’s an iconic New York City bar that was “men-only” until 1969.  Though the establishment now recognizes that the change was “for its own good,” it wasn’t initially voluntary.  McSorley’s and similar bars were forced to open their doors to females after Faith Seidenberg, an attorney, and a friend sued the bar for gender discrimination after being kicked out for being female.  Seidenberg passed away recently and it is a good reason to take another look at gender equality.

Today, it seems laughable that a female would be kicked out of a bar purely because of her gender and McSorley’s former status as a men-only bar seems nothing more than a memorable part of its history.  We’ve come a long way in 45 years.  But we’re not quite there yet.  Wrongful gender discrimination still exists and may be far more prevalent than we like to think in the employment setting.

Gender Discrimination in the Employment Setting

Employment is one of the areas that has had the greatest difficulty shedding the ingrained gender discrimination of its past.  Most employers try to do their part to treat employees of all genders equally, but when they don’t there are New York and federal laws that provide for remedies against those employers.

New York’s human rights Law Sect. 219 prohibits employers with at least four employees from discriminating against one or more of its employees.  Federal law provides the same ban where the employer has at least 15 employees.  What constitutes “discrimination” has been the subject of many lawsuits, but at its core involves an adverse action against an employee because of their gender.

Adverse Actions

There are many types of adverse actions ranging from firing to not hiring to demoting.  Similarly, there are many ways employers demonstrate the gender-based cause of their adverse action.  In rare situations, the employer will expressly state that the adverse decision was because of the employee’s gender.  More often, the discriminatory intent is more subtle, revealed by something like a hiring pattern (e.g. never hiring males despite receiving applications from qualified ones).  An experienced employment discrimination attorney can help prove discriminatory intent in these more difficult cases.

Though women have historically been discriminated against more frequently because of their gender, gender discrimination is equally prohibited against men.  For example, a lawsuit was recently filed against Ruby Tuesday for alleged employment discrimination against males when hiring for temporary bartender and server positions in Park City, Utah.  The company expressly told applicants that it was only seeking females.  Its rationale was that it was providing housing and did not want to have to find co-ed housing.

Can We Be of Assistance?

Employees and applicants of both genders sometimes delay in calling an attorney because they don’t want to rock the boat, don’t believe they can win against a corporation, or are simply unsure of whether their employer’s actions were permissible under the law.  The experienced employment discrimination attorneys at Joseph & Norinsberg  help clients navigate these issues and concerns on a daily basis.  Call our offices at (212) JUSTICE or e-mail us at info@employeejustice.com today to learn more about your rights and options.

Major League Baseball Faces Discrimination Lawsuit

Posted in Gender Discrimination on January 5, 2015

baseball The highest-ranking female executive at Major League Baseball’s New York City Headquarters has filed a lawsuit against the league for race discrimination, according to a recent report.

Sylvia Lind is MLB’s director of baseball initiatives in its Manhattan office.  Lind, who is a Cuban-American, first began working for MLB in 1995, at a salary of $43,000.  She claims that Major League Baseball has a history, pattern, and practice of passing over qualified Hispanic candidates, and that she faced a hostile working environment due to her race throughout the time she worked for MLB.  Lind’s lawsuit also claims that she works in an industry dominated by white men, and that she has been passed over for promotion on many occasions.

MLB released a statement that Lind’s claims are “absolutely without merit” and that it maintains an equal opportunity working environment.  Lind on the other hand, claims that although a high percentage of MLB players are of Hispanic descent, of 52 executives in MLB, only two are Hispanic and only 12 are women.  Indeed, Lind claims that she is the only Hispanic lawyer working for MLB and has been since the time she started. Furthermore, Lind claims that she was forced to work in a discriminatory environment even as her job required her to plan, advance, and promote the league’s civil rights plan.

Race Discrimination Is Rampant in Today’s Workplace 

According to the EEOC, 93,727 race discrimination charges were filed in 2013.  Put another way, a shocking 35.3% of discrimination charges were based on race.  This number is all too high, and something must be done to combat the high number of incidents of race discrimination occurring in the United States.  Indeed, in the last five years the numbers of race discrimination charges filed have shot up, which indicates that employer conduct is clearly out of control.

Discrimination is Illegal Workplace Misconduct that Should Never Occur

Race discrimination occurs when a current or prospective employee is treated differently from others due to his or her race.  Although many people think of race discrimination as the termination from (or failure to receive) an employment opportunity, as in the case discussed above it can also mean a failure to receive a promotion due to one’s race.  In any event, race discrimination of all forms is illegal under federal, state, and city laws, and should not be allowed to continue.

Employers who engage in discriminatory conduct can be liable for damages, whether or not it is proven that the actions taken were intended to serve discriminatory purposes. Additionally, employers have a duty to maintain a safe and non-discriminatory workplace, and can face additional damages if they permit discriminatory or harassing behavior to permeate their places of employment to the point that the behavior creates a hostile work environment.

If you or someone you love has been subjected to race discrimination, do not hesitate to contact the employment  lawyers at Joseph & Norinsberg or a free consultation. You may have a claim for significant damages as a result of discriminatory conduct.  Contact us today at 212-JUSTICE or info@employeejustice.com for an evaluation of your case.

 

New York Mets and Michael Wilpon Sued by Former Employee

Posted in Gender Discrimination on September 29, 2014

Pregnant-Belly

In a stunning lawsuit filed recently, a former Senior Vice President for New York Mets ticket sales has alleged that she was fired by the team because she became pregnant.  According to the lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Leigh Castergine has accused team co-owner Michael Wilpon of firing her because Wilpon opposed Castergine’s pregnancy out of marriage.

According to Castergine, Wilpon told her that he is “old fashioned and thinks [Castergine] should be married before having a baby,” and told Castergine to tell her boyfriend that she will get a raise and a bonus when she “gets a ring.”  Further, Wilpon allegedly stated in a meeting that he is “as opposed to putting an e-cigarette sign in my ballpark as I am to [Castergine] having this baby without being married.”  Further, Castergine alleges that Wilpon told her she would be more respected if she were married.

Importantly, a week before announcing she was pregnant, Castergine was promoted to Senior Vice President for Ticket Sales and service.  According to Castergine, she was advised to quit her job by Human Resources, and when she refused was told she was being terminated on August 20, 2014 because she failed to meet her sales goal, which Castergine disputes.

Pregnancy Discrimination Still Exists

Although the notion of women being fired from their jobs for becoming pregnant seems antiquated to most, the fact remains that situations like the New York Mets are facing are very common across all industries.  There are simply too many “old fashioned” male executives populating high-level positions in corporate America.  Nevertheless, that fact does not excuse conduct like that discussed above, and does not make it any less illegal.

Pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination that is prohibited under New York and federal law.  Simply stated, if you were fired from your job because you became or are regarded as pregnant, you have a claim against your employer.  Many times employers claim they are “relieving a woman from duty” for her own safety.  Whatever the excuse, it is up to the woman whether she needs to take time away from work to handle pregnancy-related issues, and is not up to the employer to make that decision.  Any adverse employment action taken against you while you are pregnant or after you notify your employer that you are pregnant should be met with immediate scrutiny.

An Employment Attorney Assist you in Recovering Damages

Pregnancy discrimination cases are complex, and many of the issues are fact intensive and require systematic analysis by a trained employment attorney.  Indeed, many employers try to characterize the situation as being the woman’s fault (as in the Mets story above)! Discriminatory tactics are very poor business practices and violate your civil rights. Therefore, non-compliant employers must be made to pay.  The employment lawyers at the Law Offices of Joseph & Norinsberg will fight for your rights.  Contact us today at 212-JUSTICE or info@employeejustice.com for a free consultation.

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