In the United States, there are laws that prevent employers from discriminating against their employees or applicants for positions at their companies. Gender discrimination, also known as sexual discrimination, is a violation of an applicant or worker’s rights.
When gender is used as a factor in determining employment, benefits or employment opportunities, then victims may have a case against an employer or potential employer.
Pre-employment screenings could result in discrimination claims
Employers are not allowed to discriminate during any part of the employment process. This includes in pre-employment screenings or on pre-employment tests. For example, if the test is designed in a way that identifies the applicant’s gender or is unfairly designed to be more difficult for one gender or the other, then it is likely discriminatory.
Honest differences between male and female candidates doesn’t mean there is a bias. For example, hiring a lesser qualified male instead of a female may not be discriminatory if their qualifications are similar but he had better test scores or made a better impression at the interview. However, if the female is much more qualified but still doesn’t get the role, there may be the potential for a gender discrimination claim.
Sexual harassment is a kind of gender discrimination, too
Sometimes, sexual harassment and gender discrimination overlap. For example, if only men are promoted in the workplace and women are harassed about how they look or act solely because of their gender, then this could constitute both offenses. Another example may be if a male colleague makes a sexual comment about a female worker while also admitting that he doesn’t think she can handle the job because she’s a woman. It’s very easy for these two issues to happen simultaneously.
What can workers do if they face harassment and discrimination?
If you face harassment or discrimination on the job, it’s worth looking into your legal options. Keep track of the instances of harassment that you have experienced, so that you can start to build a case against the employer. The more documentation you can get, the better your chances are of building a successful claim.