Historically employers have routinely discriminated against women in many ways: not hiring qualified female applicants, paying women less, offering promotions to less qualified men, and many other forms of discrimination. Though it is not as common as it once was, many women today still face discrimination simply because they are women. Cultural stereotypes that place women in roles of housewife or mother often form the foundation of sexual discrimination. Though clearly refuted by countless successful women in the workplace, some stereotypes still persist: that women are not suited for contentious work, that women are poor administrators, that women are too nice to critique subordinates, or that women are not capable of making tough decisions. It can also take the form of pregnancy discrimination. These stereotypes often form the basis of discrimination that is illegal under Title VII. To be subject to suit under Title VII, the discriminating employer must have at least 15 employees.
Many employers still pay women lower wages than men for the same job. In determining whether men and women receive equal pay, the primary consideration is the nature of the work performed and not the title of the employee’s position. Under the Lilly Ledbetter Act, Employees have the opportunity to bring suit for past wages that were unfairly low. The law resets the 180 day time period for filing suit each time the employee receives a paycheck for unfairly reduced wages.
Before filing suit against your employer you must first file a claim with the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Claims filed with the FCHR must be filed within 365 days of the date the discrimination occurred. Claims filed with the EEOC must be filed within 300 days of the date the discrimination occurred. However, it is always advisable to meet with an attorney or file your claim as soon as you can so that you don’t waive other remedies.
If you feel you have been the victim of gender based discrimination, please do not hesitate to call our offices in Tampa or Tallahassee. When you call, an attorney will be happy to discuss your claim and determine your best options.