How to File a Sex Discrimination Claim with HR
If you are a victim of sex discrimination, you may have the grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer. But you may not need to take them to court if you file a complaint with Human Resources (HR). If HR cannot fix the issue and you continue to experience discrimination in the workplace, then legal action will have to be taken and you can get some compensation for the distress under which you were put. We at the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group can help make sure that your employer follows the law or get punished justly under the legal system.
When it comes to the employment of workers like you, employers need to keep their focus on really only two factors. The factors an employer must keep their attention on are the employees’ qualifications and their ability to perform the essential job functions – those occupational tasks which are necessary to the job and are the reasons that the job exists in the first place. For example, a soccer player’s primary essential job function is to have two functioning legs with which to run and kick the ball.
If your employer uses any other markers of identification, it may be considered illegal discrimination under the law and you may have the grounds to file a complaint with HR and even file a lawsuit against your employer. The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is here to help explain your rights under both federal and state laws. We help people understand workplace discrimination, and any steps they can take to make their employer stop the stressful sex discrimination. Going with Human Resources is always a good first step; even if they do not stop the discrimination, the record stating you visited HR will only bolster your case against your employer if taking them to court is your next logical step.
Here are few things you should know about how to file a gender discrimination claim with Human Resources at work.
What Is Sex Discrimination?
Sex discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee differently or unfavorably simply because of that employee’s sex: whether they are a man or a woman. An employer must treat every employee the same, regardless of their sex and their decisions in business must not be affected by any sexist implicit biases they have against women. If you have been treated differently or unfavorably regarding the interview process, being hired or fired, your starting salary, your responsibilities, titles, or benefits, you may have been subject to sex discrimination.
Below are a few examples of what sex discrimination may look like for a protected group, like women, may face in their everyday lives at work:
Interviewing/Hiring: You interview for a job for which you are qualified, but you are not given the job because the employer’s long-standing clients have an issue taking order from a woman.
Termination: You are told that you can no longer work because there are going to be some cutback and reorganizing, but men in the same job and with less experience/seniority for some reason keep their jobs.
Pay: Let’s say you have worked your way up the ladder for years, and you are now the top chef at a restaurant. A male chef with similar experience to you is newly added, and you find out that he will be making more than you despite all of the hard work that you have put in for the restaurant. It is also considered sex discrimination if a newly hired male worker is given a better opportunity to make commission than you, someone with much more experience and seniority.
Job Title: You’ve worked at your company for many years, and when you know there will be a promotion available when you return from having a baby. Upon your return, your employer tells you that you have been demoted and are no longer in contention for the promotion because you have to take care of your child.
Benefits: Your employers notify you that your health care will not cover your spouse because they assume that your spouse will be covered under their own policy. Meanwhile, all of your male coworker’s health insurance plans cover their spouses. Your spouse is in fact not covered, and because of that, you face an increase in your premiums.
If you have experienced any of these situations, or something that is anything similar to the above situations, you may have suffered sex discrimination and may have grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer. But before you take them to court, you should try and resolve the conflict internally.
Filing a Claim With HR
You may feel frustration over experiencing discrimination in the workplace and may want to take action against your employer as soon as possible. While these feelings are natural, the best course of action may be to extinguish the fire from within – that is to say that dealing with your discrimination internally, without taking your employer to court, may be your best course of action. Why do you want to report gender equality discrimination to HR, and deal with it internally?
The most obvious reason would be the amount of time you’ll save. Taking legal action against your employer will require a lot of your time. From collecting evidence and testimonials to testifying and sitting in court for long hours. Taking the time to file a claim with Human Resources may save you time, and the representative may nip the discrimination in the bud before it has a chance to sprout truly. You thus save time, and get what you want: which is for the discrimination to stop.
Another reason to file a claim with HR first is that it strengthens your case against your employer. Let’s say that you file a claim with your Human Resources representative and explain that you have received sex discrimination. HR is obliged to make a record of this and alert the employer of this claim in order to get them to cease their illegal behavior. If the employer does not stop their sex discrimination and you take them to court, the courts will see that you tried to deal with this matter internally and that the employer knew about the discrimination. This will only bolster your case if the employer continues to expose you to sex discrimination.
In order to report your claim to HR, there are a few steps you need to take for your claim to be legitimate and to possibly help you if the employer needs to be taken to court in order to cease the sex discrimination to which you are being exposed.
- Make your complaint in writing. You need to have evidence that you indeed make a complaint to your company and reported the event – that the employer was made aware and chose to ignore the law. The best way to create a record of this is to make your complaint in writing and have confirmation that you submitted it. In your writing, it is important that you include a brief description of the events that led you to believe they were discriminatory, when and where they occurred, the kind of discrimination you experienced (sex discrimination, gender discrimination, race discrimination, etc.), and any sort of emotional or physical stresses that you suffered.
- Explicitly state the kind of discrimination you experienced. Under the law, in order to protect you from discrimination, you must explicitly state you are experiencing discrimination or harassment.
- Confirm that the meeting took place. Send your HR rep. an email to confirm that the meeting took place and highlight the big points that were discussed.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is here to ensure that justice is served. We offer free consultation and the zero-fee guarantee. That means there is no financial obligation or risk on your part! We can help you file a sex discrimination complaint against your employer, and provide any further legal representation you may need. Contact us today to see what you can do for you.