Gender Discrimination in the Workplace: International Concerns and Solutions

Increasingly, people around the world are rising to the task of finding solutions for the problem of gender discrimination and unequal pay in the workplace. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sex discrimination involves treating an employee or job applicant unfavorably because of that person’s sex.  Anti-discrimination laws in New York State, New York City,  and across the globe protect people from sex discrimination regarding all aspects of employment, such as hiring, firing, pay, promotions, layoffs, benefits, and more. Many foreign countries have taken action against gender discrimination in the workplace.

Iceland’s Pursuit of Gender Pay Equality

Last January, a new law in Iceland went into effect that made it illegal to pay women less than men. This is the most aggressive stance a country has taken in the fight against unequal pay. For decades, Iceland already has had a law that forbids gender discrimination at work. However, despite this law, women still earn less than men, overall. This gap is likely due to a variety of factors, including child care responsibilities typically held by women, maternity leave, salary negotiation ability, promotion rates, and differences in what jobs/industries women tend to gravitate towards. Lawmakers passed this new law in hopes to erase the wage gap completely. The law requires that employers with more than 25 people to now obtain a government anti-discrimination certificate. This certificate ensures that the employer has pay equality, regardless of any of the possible factors mentioned above.

Canada’s Quest for Gender Equality at the G7 Summit

Before the G7 summit last month in Quebec, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that gender equality would be a top priority. While the Canadian government has pursued gender equality domestically, such as with the recent passage of the Gender Equality Week Act, the G7 summit provided them the opportunity to tackle the issue globally. During the G7 summit, the Gender Equality Advisory Council, made up of business and social leaders, made certain global recommendations. They encouraged all nations to take certain steps in the pursuit of gender equality in the workplace. These steps included pay equity and mandates to require women to be on corporate boards.

Gender Discrimination Closer to Home

As leaders work to end gender discrimination around the world, the same movement continues here in New York and across the United States. The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed workplace gender discrimination in the United States. However, many people feel that gender equality has not yet been achieved here. For example, as reported by the New York Times, pregnant women are more likely to be passed over for promotions and raises than men. Additionally, pregnant women in physically demanding jobs were more likely to lose their jobs than men. Job loss usually occurred when they could no longer physically handle their job requirements during pregnancy. This, of course, is only a temporary limitation on their ability to do their job, and the law, under most circumstances, requires an employer to accommodate the pregnant employee. The number of pregnancy discrimination claims filed annually has been steadily increasing and is now reaching an all-time high.

Fight Against Gender Discrimination with the help of a New York Discrimination Attorney

No one should be held back at work because of gender, including pregnancy. If you feel you have been wrongly discriminated against because of your gender in New York City, the Law Office of Christopher Q. Davis, located in New York City, can assist you. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel.