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Corporations Sued For Gender Discrimination Against Women And Men

Gender Discrimination More Common Against Women, But It Happens To Men, Too

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Thomas Barwick/ Stone/ Getty Images

Society norms, rules, and roles instruct and encourage men to value (or devalue) women even in the United States even where there are anti-discrimination laws in place to discourage such attitudes.

In the workplace, women are frequently subjected to subtle discrimination by both sexes. Qualified women may be passed over for promotions because they become pregnant (pregnancy discrimination) or because they might become pregnant (gender discrimination.) Jobs may be offered to a less qualified male applicant just because he is male.

Women are also more likely to be judged by their looks and how they dress than are their male counterparts. On a note of contradiction, women are not only discriminated against for being "pretty" or "provocative" they are also discriminated against for being not pretty enough, too old, or, in some positions (especially sales and public relations) for not being sexy enough.

The "glass ceiling" is also a form of gender discrimination. The term refers to the invisible barriers that prevent women from climbing the ranks of management because upper level and executive positions are given to men. Glass ceiling policies are unwritten, and sometimes referred to as the "old boys network," but whatever it is called, it is another form of gender discrimination.

If men get more time off, better compensation packages or benefits than women based on unfair gender bias -- it's gender discrimination and it is illegal.

Despite protective anti-discrimination laws making gender discrimination illegal, management practices at small, mid-size, and even giant corporations often still favor the advancement of men.

Computer Sciences Corporation was sued by a former high-level female executive who was fired after identifying and complaining about pattern and practice gender discrimination and sexual harassment. She was told to "quit complaining." She she did not, she was fired. (PR Web. April 18, 2012)

In 2011, Walmart dodged a bullet when the Supreme Court ultimately overturned a decision that would have held Walmart accountable in a class action suit. The justices ruled that the "women did not share enough in common to qualify as a class in what would have been the largest class action discrimination suit in history." However, individual lawsuits against Walmart continue to be filed. (Huffington Post. January 24, 2012)

Quest Diagnostics and AmeriPath, a subsidiary have been sued in federal court for widespread and systematic discriminatory practices against women. Without admitting guilt, the company agreed to pay $152 million to more than 5,000 current and former female employees. The company also agreed to spend $22.5 million to institute new human resources policies and procedures. (Star Ledger, January 12, 2012)

Others making the list include Bank of America, CitiGroup, New York Mills, Home Depot, Morningstar, Eaton, CBS, Goldman Sachs ... and the list goes on.

Gender Discrimination -- It Happens To Men, Too

In a twist, Ventura Corporation, a wholesaler of beauty products, was sued by the EEOC for discriminating against men -- the company refused to hire men as sales reps. Talk show host Jimmy Fallon and his network, NBC, was also sued for discriminatory practices against men.

Even the federal government is not perfect when it comes to discrimination against men. In April 2012, ABC news reported that "a male employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is suing the agency for gender discrimination, claiming that a physical fitness test to become an FBI agent is biased against men."

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