Women have been a force in the business world for close to 50 years, but workplace discrimination is still happening, despite crusades like the Women’s Rights Movement and the #MeToo Movement. In a recent poll of 5,000 readers, Good Housekeeping magazine reported that 48 percent of women surveyed had experienced gender discrimination at work. Another 46 percent said they had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
In many instances, women are reluctant to come forward and report gender discrimination or sexual harassment for fear of retaliation. Many of those surveyed by Good Housekeeping said they experienced confusion and self-doubt, often questioning whether they overreacted or misunderstood their colleague’s motives.
The work environment is improving for women, especially with recent events where high-profile defendants have been found guilty of sexual harassment or assault. More women are encouraged to come forward to report workplace discrimination and harassment because of these verdicts. The recent article in Good Housekeeping magazine focused on what women should do if they are a victim of workplace discrimination. They offered some crucial advice for protecting the legal rights of women, including the following:
- Document all instances of discriminatory actions or harassment. Even if an incident seems minor, make sure to document it. Looking at patterns over time can help women see that their assumptions and feelings are right.
- Consult with an employment lawyer. The author advises women to remember that supervisors and human resources personnel have a loyalty to the corporation. Though they are most likely to act within the laws, they may be inclined to downplay reports of discrimination or harassment to avoid legal troubles.
- Consider a settlement in lieu of a trial. Most large companies would rather settle a discrimination or sexual harassment case instead of going through the cost and attention of a public trial. Women should proceed carefully with any settlement offer and only agree after consulting an experienced lawyer.
- Beware of strings that may be attached to legal settlements. Nondisclosure agreements (NDA) can force a woman to keep the details of her charges against the company and her settlement terms confidential. Though this practice is common, women are then prevented from ever revealing the illegal actions of their employer. Justice may be served in a lucrative settlement, but not allowing a woman to reveal the actions against her may let the behavior continue.
- Take advantage of all resources available to women today. There are countless organizations devoted to helping women advance in the workforce. Many of them provide free legal advice, counseling services, and resources to support women who experienced or are currently experiencing discrimination or sexual harassment in workplace.
Philadelphia Employment Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Represent Victims of Workplace Discrimination
If you believe you were the victim of workplace discrimination or harassment, call the Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania, including Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.