WHEN DOES GENDER BIAS BECOME DISCRIMINATION?
Mila Kunis, best known for her work in the movies Ted, Black Swan, released a powerful piece on husband Ashton Kutcher’s entitled “You’ll Never Work In This Town Again”, regarding the sexism and gender bias she’s experienced first-hand in Hollywood throughout her acting career.
She goes on to describe a situation that is all too familiar to women in any profession. After refusing to pose seminude to promote a film, a producer threatened her with that old Hollywood cliché “You’ll never work in this town again”. Furious, and feeling objectified, she began to realize exactly how many women compromise their integrity and ethics for fear or employer retribution or simply to avoid confrontation and protect our livelihoods.
While the rest of us do not have glittering acting careers, and may never be asked to pose for a magazine cover, we certainly share in Mia’s experience with gender bias and sexism in our daily lives. Studies have shown women are expected to perform “housework” at the office, regardless of position, are held to different appearance standards, and are consistently paid less than men for the same work.
When does sexism become discrimination?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in the work place on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, or sex. This has since been amended, effective August 2016, to include discrimination in the event of gender identity, pregnancy/childbirth and related medical conditions, transgender status, and sex stereotypes.
What can you do if you face discrimination in the workplace? Labor laws exist to protect employees against sex discrimination in the workplace.
The Employment Law experts at the Gallardo Law Firm weigh in:
Check with your employee handbook and take notes regarding incidents. Most employee handbooks include a sexual harassment policy. Make detailed notes on the specific instances of discrimination and submit an incident report to your human resources department.
Tell your supervisor…if you’re comfortable doing so. Some employers offer mediation or other in-house solutions to mitigate instances of harassment or discrimination.
File a complaint with the authorities such as Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You have six months to file a complaint. You don’t need an attorney to file a complaint, but finding an attorney experienced in labor law matters will save you time and ensure that the complaint is filed properly.
When all else fails, contact a reputable employment attorney contact a reputable employment attorney who can help you understand labor laws, and your rights in cases of discrimination in the workplace. The trusted team of employment attorneys at the Gallardo Law Firm is here to help you navigate complex gender discrimination cases.