While sexual harassment may be a serious problem in the workplace, it is not the only threat female employees face. In addition to inappropriate touch and expectation of sexual favors, women may also experience many types of discrimination.
If you are a working woman, it is important to be aware of all forms of illegal behaviors your employer may commit so you can recognize them and protect your rights.
1. Gender discrimination
This is more than just sexual harassment, though that is certainly applicable. Other examples of gender discrimination include:
- Intrusive interview questions about your family life
- Lower pay than your male counterparts
- Stereotyped positions and job responsibilities
If you find that you are not receiving the same kind of treatment as men in equal positions, your employer may illegally be using your gender as a factor.
2. Pregnancy discrimination
This type specifically covers pregnancy and child care. Being pregnant, or wanting to conceive in the future, cannot influence the decision to hire or fire you. Furthermore, the Family and Medical Leave Act protects you from losing your job due to taking time off for maternity leave or for taking care of a sick baby. If your employer retaliates against you in any way, it is discrimination.
3. Age discrimination
One that many women may overlook is discrimination based on age. It happens in all industries, not just in Hollywood and on the runway. The things that determine your qualifications for a job or promotion are your education, experience and skills, not your age. Your employer may pass you up for a promotion you deserve so someone younger can have it, or give you a harsher punishment than to a younger employee. Whether the reason is about income, sexual attraction or retirement, it does not validate age discrimination.
If you experience any of these discriminatory actions, you may sue your employer for compensation and receive job protection if you so desire.