A woman initiated charges in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia against Dish Network LLC at the end of March 2017 on the basis of race and gender (also referred to as “sex”) discrimination. According to the complaint, between 2013 to the woman’s termination from her position on January 7, 2016, she was rejected from various positions at Dish Network and claims to have incurred significant monetary losses. The woman alleges to have experienced racial and sexual harassment by Dish Network management that created a hostile work environment and resultantly a wrongful termination. The woman seeks a trial by jury, monetary relief of more than $200,000, attorney fees, and other methods of relief. When an individual alleges sexual discrimination, these cases are frequently heard by federal courts because Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is found to apply to the case.
The Role of Applicable Laws
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment practices that discriminate against any individual on the basis of that individual’s gender. This law applies to all private employers, state and local governments, as well as educational institutions that employ more than 15 individuals. Other potentially applicable federal laws include The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination against an employee who is pregnant.
In addition to these federal regulations, employers should also be aware of local ordinances that can impose additional requirements on them. One example of a state ordinance in West Virginia is the West Virginia Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender by private employers with 12 or more employees as well as by all state and local government agencies. This Act makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of gender in any manner.
Common Examples of Discrimination
There are many examples of behavior that a court might determine constitute gender discrimination. Some of the most common examples include the following:
- Denial of Promotions. Courts have ruled that denying an individual a promotion based on that individual’s gender can constitute discrimination.
- Different Benefits. Offerings benefits to employees of one gender but not employees of the other gender can be found to be a type of gender discrimination.
- Different Compensation. Compensating employees of one gender better than employees of the other gender has been found by courts to constitute discrimination on the basis of sex.
- Pregnant Employees. Courts have found that employers who refuse to promote a female employee because she is pregnant have committed discrimination.
- Refusing to Hire Or Promote. Refusing to hire or promote employees of one gender can result in companies being convicted of gender discrimination.
Obtain the Assistance of a Skilled West Virginia Legal Counsel
For individuals and companies who are involved in discrimination lawsuits, the assistance of talented legal counsel can prove to be particularly important. Contact Hendrickson & Long, PLLC by filling out the firm’s convenient online form or calling our office at 304-346-5500.