Even in the “modern age,” discrimination and harassment against female employees still regularly occur in the workplace. Many times, females are also paid less than males for doing the same job and are not promoted into higher positions because they are not viewed as part of the “good old boys club” (hitting the glass ceiling). We understand how discrimination on the basis of gender impacts the lives of employees and can hold them back from reaching their true potential and higher earnings. The gender discrimination lawyers at Azadian Law Group, PC fight employers aggressively to make sure they secure the maximum recovery for victims of gender/sex discrimination.
Gender discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee unfavorably because of that person’s sex. Gender discrimination also can involve treating someone less favorably because of his or her connection with an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain sex.
Gender discrimination is not generally in the form of a blatant comment. For example, gender discrimination may take the form of implicit bias against females and treating male employees more favorably or not subject male employees to discipline for performance issues that female employees are subjected to discipline. Common forms of discipline used by an employer leading up to termination, include verbal coaching, negative reviews, performance improvement plans, or action plans. See Wills v. Superior Court, 194 Cal. App. 4th 312, 340 (2011) (“Showing disparate treatment or policy enforcement is a permissible means to establish [discrimination]. . . . To establish [discrimination] in this manner, [the employee] must identify other similarly situated employees the [employer] did not terminate.”).
The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
Both Federal and California law requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. Job content (not job titles) determines whether jobs are substantially equal. All forms of pay are covered by this law, including salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, cleaning or gasoline allowances, hotel accommodations, reimbursement for travel expenses, and benefits. If there is an inequality in wages between men and women, employers may not reduce the wages of either sex to equalize their pay.
California also provides unique protections to combat the clear wage/salary differential between females and males in the workforce. Often, females are paid far less than males for the same work and are also deprived of numerous other compensation and growth opportunities such as commission and equity in the companies they work for. California Labor Code Section 1197.5(a) mandates that “an employer shall not pay any of its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.” Even when a job title is different, the real question is whether the female employee is doing the same duties as the higher-compensated male employee.
Also, complaints about unfair pay based on gender are protected under California law. See California Labor Code Section 1197.5(j) (“An employer shall not discharge, or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against, any employee by reason of any action taken by the employee to invoke or assist in any manner the enforcement of” California’s Equal Pay Act).
The law also requires employers to maintain records of the wages and wage rates, job classifications, and other terms and conditions of employment of their employees for a period of three years.” See Cal. Labor Code Section 1197.5(d). This information is obtained by our skilled employment lawyers through the discovery process in an employment case.
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