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Gender Discrimination Attorneys Beverly Hills & Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Gender Discrimination Attorneys

Equal Pay Day is anything but a joyous occasion. It is the day each year that marks the discrepancy between the average pay for men and the average pay for women in an equivalent job. For example, in 2021, women earned an average of 82 cents for every dollar that men earned for equivalent work. Therefore, to earn the money that men earned between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021, women would have had to work until March 22, 2022. Of course, Equal Pay Day is only a symbolic observance, and the situation is not quite so simple; for example, for both men and women, there are racial disparities in pay.

Unequal pay is only one of the types of unfair treatment workers may face on the basis of sex. The law has interpreted sex discrimination to include harassment and adverse actions on the basis of the worker’s sexual orientation, gender presentation, and family status, too. If you have experienced sex discrimination or sexual harassment at work, contact the Beverly Hills gender discrimination lawyers at Mehtani Law Offices, P.C..

Gender Discrimination Beverly Hills & Rancho Cucamonga

To bring a gender discrimination claim under California law, an employee must basically show that (i) the employee suffered an “adverse employment action” by his or her employer; (ii) that a “substantial motivating factor” for such action was the employee’s gender; and (iii) that the employee was harmed by the employer’s conduct.

As explained by the Judicial Council of California Jury Instructions, “’ Adverse employment actions are not limited to ultimate actions such as termination or demotion. There is an adverse employment action if [name of defendant] has taken action or engaged in a course or pattern of conduct that, taken as a whole, materially and adversely affected the terms, conditions, or privileges of [name of plaintiff]’s employment. An adverse employment action includes conduct that is reasonably likely to impair a reasonable employee’s job performance or prospects for advancement or promotion. However, minor or trivial actions or conduct that is not reasonably likely to do more than anger or upset an employee cannot constitute an adverse employment action.”

A “substantial motivating reason” is a reason that actually contributed to the applicable adverse employment action. While it must be more than a remote or trivial reason, it need not be the only reason motivating the applicable adverse employment action.

To bring a gender discrimination under Federal Law, the standards are similar but there are some differences. You should consult an employment attorney to discuss the differences and determine whether bringing state and/or federal gender discrimination claims makes sense in your particular situation.

Gender Harassment Beverly Hills & Rancho Cucamonga

Gender harassment claims under California law require a showing that (i) the employee suffered either “severe” or “pervasive” mistreatment by another employee or group of employees; (ii) that a “substantial motivating reason” for the mistreatment is due to the employee’s gender; and (iii) that the employee was harmed by the employer’s conduct.

Importantly, there has to be a “nexus” or connection between the mistreatment and the employee’s gender. In other words, it is not enough to merely show that you were male or female and were mistreated; instead, you need to show that a “substantial motivating reason” for the mistreatment was your gender.

Mehtani Law Offices, P.C. attorneys regularly litigate gender harassment cases. What we typically look for is direct or circumstantial evidence of gender harassment. For example, inappropriate or mean comments about an employee’s gender by a supervisor repeatedly on a daily basis over a period of time could be deemed harassment, depending on all of the facts and circumstances.

Harassment claims can often be highly particularized and you should consult with an attorney to determine whether you indeed have a harassment claim. Sometimes the conduct may be inappropriate or unprofessional but does not rise to the level of legal harassment. Other times the situation is quite clear, other times it is gray. The attorneys at our Firm can review the specific facts of your situation and analyze whether they believe you have a harassment case.

Gender Retaliation Beverly Hills & Rancho Cucamonga

To bring a case for gender retaliation under California law, an employee must basically show that (i) the employee suffered an “adverse employment action” by his or her employer; (ii) that a “substantial motivating reason” for such adverse employment action was because the employee engaged in protected activity by protesting or refusing to participate in gender discrimination or other illegal conduct related to employees’ gender; and (iii) that the employee was harmed by the employer’s conduct.

Importantly, people often claim that they are being retaliated against but cannot evidence an actual “adverse employment action”. But without an adverse employment action, the employee cannot prove a case of retaliation.

Protected Characteristics and Employment Law

Employment discrimination is when an employer mistreats you because of a protected characteristic of yours. Protected characteristics are those that relate to your body, health, and personal background. For example, race, religion, sex, age, disability, military status, and national origin are all protected characteristics. Over time, case law has elaborated on more details about what is included in the definition of discrimination based on sex.

One can find many discrimination complaints by women who claimed that they and other women at their companies were judged more harshly on their work than men or that all the best promotions and raises went to men, even though there were also female employees at the company who were eligible for these promotions and raises, but this is only one aspect of sex discrimination.

Sex discrimination is about more than just whether you are a man or a woman. Family status, sexual orientation, and gender presentation are also covered in laws against sex discrimination. For example, in the 1990s, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a woman who was fired from a high-ranking position in the finance sector because her supervisors claimed that her appearance and manner of speaking were unladylike.

The plaintiff argued that it was unfair to fire her simply because she did not wear makeup and spoke in a bossy tone of voice; she claimed that no one would dream of firing a man from a finance job for those reasons, and the Court agreed with her.

The following are examples of just a few of the many possible manifestations of gender discrimination in the workplace:

  • A supervisor refuses to promote an employee to a well-paid position where he will be the client’s first point of contact with the company on the grounds that the employee’s speech and mannerisms are too effeminate. The supervisor and the employee are both gay men.
  • A company receives many applications from women below the age of 40 but does not hire them, assuming that they will have children in the near future and become unreliable employees because of their childcare responsibilities.
  • An employer starts finding fault with the work of an employee previously considered a superstar once the administration finds out that the employee is gay and has a same-sex domestic partner.

If you think that the unfair treatment you are experiencing at work is related to your gender, sexual orientation, relationship status, or role as a parent, the sex discrimination lawyers at Mehtani Law Offices, P.C. can help you decide your next steps.

The California Family Rights Act and Sex Discrimination

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) gives employees the right to take an unpaid leave of absence from work because of the employee’s own medical condition or because of the medical needs of a close family member. You can also use CFRA leave to care for and bond with a child who has just joined your family through birth, adoption, or fostering. The maximum length of the CFRA leave of absence is 12 weeks.

CFRA is very similar to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), except for a few important differences. For example, CFRA requires many small businesses to provide family leave or medical leave, even though FMLA would consider these businesses exempt from providing this leave. Furthermore, you can use CFRA leave to care for your domestic partner or your partner’s parents or children, even if you are not married to your partner.

Perhaps the most important difference with regard to sex discrimination is that California offers pregnancy disability leave (PDL) for up to four months. This means that mothers in California who experience pregnancy complications can take a leave of absence from work both before and after the baby’s birth. It is against the law for your employer to retaliate against you for taking one or both of these leaves of absence in connection to your child’s birth.

Filing a Discrimination Complaint

It is never too soon to contact Mehtani Law Offices, P.C. if you experience sex discrimination at work. Before you can file an employment discrimination lawsuit, whether the discrimination relates to gender or any other protected characteristic, you must first contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC will investigate your complaint and attempt to corroborate your claims and, if applicable, find other instances of discrimination in your workplace. Only after the EEOC responds to your complaint with authorization to sue can you file a lawsuit against your employer in court. Your chances of getting the EEOC to approve you to file an employment discrimination lawsuit are higher if you already have a lawyer representing you when you first contact the EEOC.

Contact Mehtani Law Offices, P.C. About Sex Discrimination in the Workplace

Mehtani Law Offices, P.C. is dedicated to helping workers in California resolve disputes with their employers about gender discrimination. Contact Mehtani Law Offices, P.C. in Beverly Hills, California, to schedule a consultation.

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