All people need a supportive and healthy work environment in which to deliver their best possible performance. In recent decades, legal developments have increased the protections for workers subjected to gender discrimination on the job. While workplace gender discrimination can have legal ramifications, it can also affect the performance of not only the victims of the discrimination but potentially other co-workers or even an employer’s entire workforce.
What Is Gender Discrimination?
Gender discrimination occurs when an employee or an applicant for a position is treated differently or less favorably because of their sex, gender identity, and/or sexual orientation. Gender discrimination may occur alone or in conjunction with other forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on race, national origin, or religion.
Gender discrimination can take many forms. Some common ways that gender discrimination shows up in the workplace include:
- Not hiring an applicant because of their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, or only hiring individuals of a particular sex or gender identity for a certain type of position
- Paying employees of similar training and experience in similar roles differently based on their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation
- Imposing different performance standards, holding employees of a particular sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation to a higher performance standard, or being critical of an employee whose behavior does not conform to a certain perception of gender stereotypes
- Denying promotions, pay raises, and favorable job assignments, which are given instead to lesser-qualified employees of a different sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation
- Subjecting employees of a particular sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation to derogatory language, hostile remarks, or slurs, or using names or pronouns that an employee does not identify with
- Subjecting employees to unwelcome sexual advances, demanding sexual favors, or touching employees in an unwanted or sexual manner
Gender discrimination does not always need to be intentional. Instead, employers may adopt policies or practices that were not intended to discriminate based on sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation but nonetheless have the effect of doing so.
How Gender Discrimination Affects Workplace Performance
When gender inequality enters the workplace, a domino effect of negative repercussions can occur. Some of the effects of gender discrimination on employees include:
- Mental health issues, including increased anxiety and the onset of depression that can hinder an employee’s ability to effectively do their job
- Increased workplace conflict, as the victim or victims of the discrimination may lash out at the perpetrators or even other co-workers they feel don’t help them or stand up for them. Alternatively, gender discrimination can divide workplace teams between employees who defend the victim or victims of the discrimination and those who support the perpetrators of the discrimination.
- Lower employee morale, especially when those who experience discrimination and the co-workers who support them feel disconnected from the company due to these actions
- Decreased productivity that can result from communication issues caused by employees spending as much time outside of the workplace as possible to avoid the hostile environment
- Negative distractions from legal claims arising from gender discrimination, as employees and managers may need to spend time gathering documents, being interviewed by internal and outside legal counsel, attending depositions, or even testifying at trial in gender discrimination lawsuits
How The Vaughn Law Firm Could Help
If you have suffered gender discrimination in your job, a Georgia employment lawyer from The Vaughn Law Firm can help you pursue financial recovery and accountability for the violation of your rights by:
- Investigating your claims to recover evidence of the gender discrimination you experienced at work, including documents, emails and other communications, and witness testimony
- Going over your legal options with you so that you understand what steps you can take to demand accountability from your employer
- Documenting the financial and personal losses that you may have suffered, including lost wages from wrongful termination or denial of promotions and pay raises, as well as emotional distress and suffering
- Pursuing full compensation for you through a negotiated settlement or, if necessary, by taking your case to court and trial
If you believe you have been the victim of gender discrimination at work, you need a team of supportive advocates on your side. Reach out to The Vaughn Law Firm today for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights with our knowledgeable Georgia employment lawyers.