If you live and work in Riverside or elsewhere in California, you probably know that it is against the law for an employer to discriminate against his or her employees because of sex or gender.
It is just as illegal to pay employees of the opposite sex different wages for the same or similar work. Our Riverside gender discrimination attorney at the JML Law explains that those who are discriminated against based on their sex or gender may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the employer to recover damages.
But the term “gender discrimination” sounds too vague and broad, which is why we asked our best gender discrimination lawyers in California to outline everything you need to know about gender discrimination in the Golden State.
Gender discrimination protections under the FEHA
The Fair Employment and Housing Act, also known as FEHA, provides a wide range of protections to employees in Riverside, Long Beach, Los Angeles and elsewhere in California. Under the FEHA, it is illegal for an employer to engage in discriminatory conduct against an employee based on his or her gender, sex, gender identity or gender expression.
These “discriminatory actions” may include but are not limited to:
- Refusing to hire or promote.
- Demoting an employee.
- Reducing an employee’s wages.
- Failure to pay equal wages.
- Firing or discharging an employee.
- Excluding an employee from trainings, meetings, and other job-related activities.
Gender discrimination is not just about men and women
Contrary to the popular belief, gender discrimination goes well beyond an employer treating men and women differently. Under the FEHA, gender discrimination also includes:
- Pregnancy as well as medical conditions and habits associated with being pregnant.
- Childbirth or medical conditions associated with giving birth.
- Breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding.
Gender discrimination also includes an employee’s gender identity and expression. It is important to note, however, that gender expression does not necessarily refers to the employee’s gender assigned at birth.
Signs of gender discrimination at work
While it is understandable that gender discrimination is illegal under California discrimination laws, it is often unclear what constitutes gender discrimination exactly. Our Riverside gender discrimination attorney at the JML Law explains that this type of discrimination can refer to having presumptuous ideas or stereotypes or making generalizations about the qualifications and skills, job performance, physical abilities, work habits, work productivity, and other characteristics based on gender, sex, gender expression, and identity.
Gender pay gap and gender discrimination in California
Under California laws, employers are legally required to pay equal wages to workers who perform substantially similar work and under similar working conditions. Paying less to compensate for employees performing similar tasks on the basis of gender or sex may constitute gender discrimination in Riverside or elsewhere in California.
However, there are various defenses that can be used by employers to argue that paying different wages to workers with similar jobs was justified. These factors include but are not limited to: a merit and/or seniority system, a system that measures earnings based on quality or quantity of work, a bona fide factor unrelated to sex, and others.
It may be quite difficult to spot gender discrimination in the workplace, which is why it is advised to seek legal help of a gender discrimination lawyer in Riverside or elsewhere in California. Contact the JML Law to speak about your particular case. Call our offices at 818-610-8800 or send us an email today.