Most employers understand the importance of treating their employees with dignity and respect. They have formal rules against gender discrimination and are dedicated to enforcing them. This is, unfortunately, not the case everywhere. Having anti-discrimination policies on paper does not amount to preventing it in practice. And that is what the laws of California require. 

Indeed, California employment law is one of the most progressive in the country. And the state proactively and aggressively pursues companies that engage in gender discrimination. If you believe that your demotion, lack of advancement, or termination owes to gender discrimination, then you should hire a
Los Angeles gender discrimination lawyer.

Why Those First Steps Will Not Be Easy

You are a strong, confident, and highly qualified woman. You work hard at your job, and you are good at it. Like everyone else, you want to go to work, make your contribution to the team, and be recognized and fairly rewarded for what you have done. The last thing you want is to cause trouble or scandal about an issue not involving work. You want to be viewed as a professional, not singled out as someone who has been victimized or unfairly treated because of your gender.

Despite what many people think, most women would rather not get involved in gender discrimination disputes. They would rather not submit a complaint or launch a lawsuit. The reason is simple: it is humiliating. Having to call attention to your gender and the fact that you have been discriminated against because of it is a soul-destroying process. No woman wants to go through this.

However, you cannot ignore the facts before you. If you are being mistreated because of your sex, then you must act. If you do not, then all that you worked for will be for nothing; and the person responsible for the illegal behavior will harm other women.

It is not an ideal situation. But if there have been blatant violations of California employment law, then you will need to act.

Causes of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

Being unfairly discriminated against can take a tremendous toll on your mental, physical, and emotional health. You know that sexism exists and understand that such prejudices occur in society. But you never thought it would happen to you. In trying to process what you are going through at the moment it can be helpful to learn a bit about the causes of gender discrimination. Here are a few of them:

1. Patriarchy

Although it is common to examine and criticize the treatment of women in patriarchal societies, the fact is that nearly all societies—even the most advanced Western societies—have elements of patriarchy in them. Liberal, progressive, free-thinking California is not immune from organizational systems that give males greater importance than females and assign them more positive attributes.

In a patriarchal system, men occupy superior positions and have the power to determine the amount of access women have to opportunities for advancement. If your company has few or no women in senior leadership positions, if there is no effort to identify and promote qualified women, then the status quo—male domination—will continue.

2. Objectification

Hypersexualized images of women in television, films, and magazines promote the idea that women are to be viewed and dealt with as sex objects. This often leads to the physical and verbal sexual abuse of women. It also discourages men in power from taking them seriously. Your failure to be promoted or allowed opportunities may be a consequence of being objectified.

Effects of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

The above prejudices and biases have an effect. No matter how much men assert their willingness to treat women as equals, the underlying assumptions they have absorbed through socialization will affect the judgments and decisions they make. Here are some of the effects of gender discrimination in the workplace:

1. Preferential treatment

The inevitable result of viewing women as less intelligent, capable, and substantive than men is that men will be hired for jobs over more qualified women, will get higher salaries for the same work, and will get more advancement opportunities. The last of these is especially troublesome. A recent survey estimated that American women earn 17.8% less than men and that women are more than twice as likely to hold low-wage jobs. The disparity is even greater between white men and women of color.

2. Exclusion from good health care

Women are charged more money for health care. This is reflected in the rates they pay for health insurance policies. And many companies refuse to cover the cost of contraception, preventative screenings, maternity care, and other female-related services. This leads to increased illnesses, unwanted pregnancies, and higher infant mortality rates.

If you are like most Californians, you get your health insurance through your job. You should look carefully at your plan. If your healthcare needs are not adequately covered, it is not an oversight. It is that way by design.

If the culture, structure, and processes of your workplace devalue the contribution of women, discrimination and unfair outcomes will be the inevitable result. If you have been directly 

affected by such discrimination, it will be hard to focus on performing daily tasks. It is hard to go into work every day, motivated to do your job, when you know that your knowledge, skills, and abilities are not appreciated; that you have not received your just rewards because of your sex.

Getting Your Own Back

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made gender discrimination illegal in the United States. The state of California has also passed a series of laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. If you have been unfairly treated because of your gender and your employer has failed to take action, then you should hire a
Los Angeles gender discrimination lawyer and build a case against them.

Before suing your employer, you will need to file a claim with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission. Your employment attorney will advise you on how to go through this online process. Once the EEOC has investigated your claim, they will issue a report of their findings. Although the EEOC rarely gets involved in direct legal action against employers, you can use the findings of their investigation in your lawsuit.

West coast employment lawyers have the expertise and experience to handle these kinds of legal battles. The first thing your employment attorney will do is sit down with and listen to your story. Although west coast employment lawyers hear of incidents like yours all the time, each victim of gender discrimination has their own particular story to tell and they deserve to be heard. The employment attorney you hire will use the specifics of your story to develop a legal strategy against your company.

Your Los Angeles gender discrimination lawyer will also launch their own investigation into the company. They will interview other women who may have experienced the same mistreatment, and they will gather emails, text messages, social media posts, and company documents that point to the kinds of systematic abuse and unfairness that you encountered.

Your lawyer will use this evidence to negotiate a settlement that is fair and just.