- April 17, 2021
- Sexual Harassment Lawyer
- Gender Discrimination
If you believe you have faced discrimination at work because of your gender, you may wonder whether your case might resolve in a gender discrimination lawsuit settlement. it is imperative to contact a gender discrimination attorney as soon as possible. In California and in most states, victims of gender discrimination must try the administrative route to solve the issue before filing a legal action. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t contact a lawyer to discuss the case at the first sign of unlawful activity against you. It can be an important first step in your having a fair and safe place to work and preventing the wrongdoers from harming others in your position.
At the Gilleon Law Firm, our gender discrimination lawyers have substantial experience in helping people like you overcome the debilitating effects of facing gender-based bias on the job. We believe it is important to get fair and just compensation for people who face these issues, whether it be through the claims process, tough negotiations for a gender discrimination lawsuit settlement or battling offenders in court.
Laws Relating to Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Settlements
If you are the victim of gender discrimination, there are many legal protections in place that will support you in filing a lawsuit. In California, the California Fair Pay Act requires that employees be paid similar wages for similar work regardless of gender. The California Fair Housing and Employment Act (FHEA) makes discrimination based on gender illegal. Federally, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people against gender discrimination. The Equal Pay Act protects people against gender-based wage discrimination.
Under the provisions of these regulations, employers may not:
- Treat people differently because of their gender
- Refuse to hire, promote or decide to fire a person because of their gender
- Retaliate against someone because they make some kind of complaint about gender discrimination
- Pay someone less because of their gender
- Engage in any other types of disparate treatment of a person due to their gender, such as making an unwanted lateral move
- Treat groups of people differently because of a policy or practice.
If you believe you have faced situations like this, you may have been unlawfully discriminated against because of your gender and should speak with an attorney.
The First Steps in Filing a Gender Discrimination Claim in California
When you suspect that you are experiencing gender discrimination at work, you should first contact an attorney. However, this first step will not include filing a lawsuit. Under California law, you must first file a claim with one of the state or federal agencies tasked with handling employment issues, like the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
It may also be helpful to file a claim with a human resources officer or the person at work responsible for handling discrimination issues, if your workplace has one. While sometimes these people may work against you, it helps to have records of the steps you took to address the claim and have a record of what happened to you (if you are not already keeping detailed personal records). This is because the DFEH will want to see names of the people involved and dates the acts occurred and any witnesses that you might have. This will help your case immeasurably.
An experienced attorney can advise you on how to proceed during this phase of your discrimination complaint. They can help you learn what the DFEH is looking for and how to help you present a strong case that your employer may have violated one of the civil rights laws that the DFEH deals with.
Moreover, the DFEH is not acting as your advocate. They may investigate your claim if the evidence you’ve presented satisfies them that there may be a violation against you. Then they will launch an investigation into your claim. An attorney will be an advocate, and the lawyers at the Gilleon Law Firm can be a powerful ally in your struggle.
Filing a Lawsuit Instead of Seeking an Administrative Investigation with the Government
California law allows you to directly sue your employer for allegations of discrimination. You will need an attorney to obtain a Right-to-Sue notice for lawsuits under the FHEA. Then you can proceed without going through the DFEH investigatory process.
Our attorneys at the Gilleon Law Firm will work hard to get the best possible outcome in your case. We will hear your side of the story and build a strong legal case based on our insight into your situation. We will be supportive of your needs in a most difficult time. Our investigation will be thorough, and we will apply the facts of your situation to the law to put you in a strong position for either settlement negotiations or tough litigation.
There are a number of remedies claimants can request in a gender discrimination lawsuit. Many of these may apply to your case.
- Back pay
- Compensatory damages
- Punitive damages
- Rehiring if you were fired unjustly and if it is an appropriate remedy
- Getting you a previously denied promotion if it is appropriate
- Court costs
- Attorney fees
- Other fees or compensation that may be appropriate for your case.
Difficulties of Proving Gender Discrimination in California
One doesn’t always have direct evidence of gender discrimination. It would be rare for an employer to explicitly say, in this age, that they refuse to promote a woman or hire a woman because of their gender. Your case may rely on a collection of “circumstantial evidence” to show the discrimination occurred. There may be a pattern of not hiring women, a series of statements that suggest a woman can’t perform a job as well as a man. The actual direct evidence may occur in secret, and so then it can be difficult to prove intentional discrimination in court.
Difficulties for Employers in Gender Discrimination Cases
Gender discrimination cases present difficulties for employers that may make them less likely to want to fight with the California authorities or your attorney. They may be a small business with a lot to lose in expensive litigation. They may be a big company with a big brand name that can be unalterably damaged by an accusation of gender discrimination. For reasons often tied to finances, they may prefer to settle the case out of court.
Settling a Gender Discrimination Suit in California
Because discrimination charges can be difficult to prove and difficult to defend against, it may be in the best interest of both parties to settle through negotiations. Some employers, especially those with sensitive profiles, may look to settle some amounts before a claim has been filed. However, you may be in a much stronger position to negotiate with your employer or former employer once you have filed a claim with the state or in a California court through an attorney. In fact, employers often settle discrimination claims at the point that a person has filed a legal action against them.
How Much Can You Win in Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Settlements?
Often settlements include a non-disclosure agreement to keep the terms of the settlement in confidence. We may not know the full extent of the amount some people receive. Gender discrimination lawsuit settlements can reach upwards of several million dollars. Many in high-profile cases receive mid-six-figure settlements, however.
How much you can win in your gender discrimination lawsuit settlement will depend on several factors. The strength of your case may be the most important factor in determining how much you can win in a settlement. However, a strong determining factor will be the experience, competence and determination of your legal team. At the Gilleon Law Firm, we will endeavor to reach a settlement that can satisfy you that justice has been done and that will put you in a great position to move forward with your life. Contact our gender discrimination attorneys at (800) 408-2857 to find out how we can help.