In a time when shows can be recorded with the flip of a switch, people can travel to foreign countries on a whim and a Smartphone can be used to find the answer to just about anything that may be on our minds, it is hard to believe that gender discrimination is still a problem. Yet, a major pharmaceutical company is currently being accused of treating women differently than men.
According to the complaint filed with the federal district court in New York, Forest Pharmaceuticals Inc. "engaged in systemic, companywide discriminatory treatment of female employees based on their gender, their taking of federally and state-protected maternity leave and their status as pregnant women or caregivers."
The 1,500 women who filed suit against the major pharmaceutical company allege they received lower pay than their male counterparts and were denied promotions and experienced limited employment opportunities.
Basics of Gender Discrimination
Unfortunately, gender discrimination like that alleged above is not uncommon. Essentially, discrimination occurs whenever a person receives unequal treatment based solely on their gender. This form of discrimination is present when gender results in unequal pay or limitations in an employee's opportunity.
Gender discrimination is also present when an employee is harassed sexually. This can occur when an employee experiences unwanted advances or verbal remarks of a sexual nature by fellow employees or supervisors.
Workers are protected under federal and state law from these forms of unequal treatment. Under federal law, remedies for discrimination can include compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are designed to provide a victim with payment to cover costs directly connected to the discrimination, like finding a new job. Punitive damages are intended to punish the offender by requiring the employer to pay an award to the victim.
If you or a loved one is the victim of discrimination, these forms of compensation may be available. Contact an experienced gender discrimination lawyer to discuss your legal options.