Rise In Gender Inequality & Sex Discrimination During Covid-19

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, gender inequality has spiked. Data shows that the majority of unemployment applicants in states such as New York, in mid-to-late March were women, accounting for 55% of the increase in job losses in the US. As a result, this growth has threatened to reverse years of progress towards gender equality. Experts fear the possibility of returning to a society where women are staying at home, while men go to work.  As the virus spreads, women bear the brunt of job disruption. Additionally, with the majority of schools closing, women are taking on extra childcare and household responsibilities. 

Gender Inequality In The Workplace 

In a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the UCL Institute of Education, mothers were 47% more likely to have permanently lost their job and 14% were more likely to have been laid off since the beginning of the pandemic than men. The most affected sectors are hospitality, education, health care, and retail, all in which the vast majority of workers are female. Yet, according to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), women account for the majority of job losses in these industries. Women, who make up roughly 67% of the low-wage workforce (earning less than $11 per hour), already make an average of that 15% less than their male counterparts for performing the same work. This number is even lower for women of color. The coronavirus crisis led the government to exempt companies from filing gender pay gap data this year. With significant job losses and the lack of transparency in gender pay gap statistics, women are disproportionately affected by the economic consequences of the virus.  

Pregnancy Discrimination During Covid-19 

Healthcare workers are also facing pregnancy discrimination. The founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, a charity led by women who have experienced  pregnancy discrimination recently gave a statement that “pregnancy is considered a burden, while mothers are seen as distracted and less committed;” as a result, there is “a blatant erosion of employment rights for pregnant women.” On the contrary, some pregnant healthcare workers say that they have been pushed into working at the frontline of the coronavirus crisis. In fact, one pregnant nurse from the UK, who was close to full-term and working at the frontline of the crisis, died of Covid-19 in April. Federally, according to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy constitutes unlawful sex discrimination. Furthermore, on March 16th, the government classed pregnant women as “vulnerable to severe illness if infected with Covid-19” and should, therefore, “carefully”  adhere to social distancing rules. 

Seek Legal Assistance Today 

If you have experienced gender discrimination in the workplace, seek legal assistance from the Law Office of Christopher Q. Davis, located in New York City. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel.