Share This Post
Discrimination (gender) in Massachusetts
Across the county, women earn on average 79 cents for every dollar that men earn in comparable positions. Massachusetts is not much better, where statewide women earn only 83 cents for every dollar men earn in comparable positions.
What’s worse, across the top 25 companies in the nation, women occupy only 3 percent of the top CEO positions. While that number is rising, it won’t be anywhere close to fair anytime soon.
When it comes to termination percentages, women are 10 percent more likely to be fired than their male counterparts. What’s more, women are much less likely to be promoted than their male counterparts and are punished much more severely than men for the same infractions or perceived infractions.
All of this goes to show that gender discrimination in Massachusetts and across the country is alive and well. However, it remains absolutely against the law for an employer to base an employment decision on a worker’s gender.
If you are a victim of gender discrimination in Massachusetts, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. Call The Law Offices of Richard Mucci at 781-729-3999 to discuss your case with a knowledgeable Massachusetts employment law attorney.
Massachusetts Discrimination Law
Federal and state laws make it illegal for employers to treat employees differently by denying proper wages, job opportunities, promotions, equal pay, or any other type of unfair treatment in the workplace based on certain protected categories. One of these categories is the worker’s gender.
Massachusetts’ Fair Employment Law says that it is unlawful for an employer to make employment decisions based on:
- National origin
- Religious creed
- Genetic information
- Military service
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation; or
- Gender identity
This coincides with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal anti-discrimination law, which substantially says the same thing.
Types of Gender Discrimination
Not all discriminatory practices are illegal. It is, however, illegal to demote, refuse to promote, refuse to hire, punish, harass, retaliate against, or base any other adverse employment action on your gender.
Essentially, there are two general types of gender discrimination:
- Disparate Treatment
- Disparate Impact
Disparate treatment is by far the most common type of employment discrimination. This involves an employer, boss, or supervisor making an adverse employment decision because of the victim’s gender.
Disparate impact, on the other hand, is all about statistics. This involves a group of people being treated poorly or being paid less by an employer because of their gender.
For example, if you work for a large company that employs 1000 people who all do the same job––500 women and 500 men. If statically, the men earn more money for the same position than the women, a case can be made for gender discrimination, based on these statistics alone.
Employment Discrimination Damages
Gender discrimination is often seen as a women’s issue because, traditionally, the victims of gender discrimination in the workplace are overwhelmingly women. However, anti-discrimination laws equally protect both male and female workers.
If you are a victim of gender discrimination in Massachusetts, there are multiple financial remedies available to you if you hire an experienced employment lawyer. These remedies include:
- Lost wages – compensation for the money you would have earned if not for your employer’s discriminatory act. In other words, money that you should have earned but never did earn because of your employer’s discrimination.
- Compensatory damages – to compensate you for out of pocket expenses, such as costs related to searching for new employment, updating your job skills, and medical expenses.
- Reinstatement – you may simply want to go back to your job and be paid fairly.
- Emotional distress – damages for the pain and suffering that a person goes through as a result of gender discrimination. Emotional damages are often the largest component of the damages awarded in a discrimination case.
- Attorney’s fees – if you prevail in your gender discrimination case, you can be awarded your attorney’s fee along with your underlying damages. This often forces cases into early settlement because attorney’s fees can add up to more than the cost of settling the case.
- Punitive damages – may be awarded to punish the employer if its conduct was particularly egregious or malicious and to deter them from doing it again.
How Damages are Determined in a Gender Discrimination Case in Massachusetts
Damages in gender discrimination cases are assessed in effectively the same way they are assessed in other civil cases. For example, if you are demoted and can prove that this demotion was based on your gender, you may be entitled to recover the difference between what you should have been paid and the pay that you actually received after being demoted.
Similarly, if for some years you were making $80,000 per year at your job, while your male counterparts were making $100,000 for the same job, you may be entitled to recover compensation for this discrepancy. Likewise, if you are terminated and can prove that this was based on your gender you may be entitled to a stream of lost income for a reasonable period of time until you get another job.
The actual types and amounts of damages that you may recover in a gender discrimination lawsuit will depend on a number of factors, including:
- Whether your employer’s conduct is regulated by federal or state law – staté law may offer more compensation than that which is recoverable under the applicable federal statute;
- How many workers your employer employs (caps on damages often apply based on the number of workers the company employs;
- Whether your employer’s conduct was egregious or malicious;
- Your out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the discrimination;
- Your employer’s history of discrimination or lack thereof; as well as
- Your choice of lawyer
Contact The Law Offices of Richard Mucci for More Information
If you have been a victim of gender discrimination in Massachusetts, you may be entitled to a monetary award. However, it is very easy for employers to escape liability by pretending like they didn’t make their decisions based on your gender.
For help with holding your employer accountable and to ensure that you recover the compensation you deserve, contact The Law Offices of Richard Mucci at 781-729-3999 to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Massachusetts employment law attorney.