By favoring women in certain circumstances, California employers, co-workers and even family members can contribute to gender discrimination against male workers. A common example is an employer allowing a new mother to take extra leave while disapproving of this practice among new fathers. Men who choose careers in female-dominated sectors like nursing could also experience discrimination.
What an employer might think of as a positive action could be interpreted as positive discrimination. For example, an attempt to overcome barriers traditionally faced by women in the workplace could deny male workers opportunities that they may also deserve. An employer that looks down upon a man who wants to play an active role as a parent could be limiting his opportunity to nurture his children.
Nurturing can also be an important element of some jobs, like nursing, but society assigns that characteristic to women and not men. One personal account shows how systemic gender discrimination caused parents to disapprove of their son’s choice to become a nurse. They worried that too much motherly affection had resulted in his unacceptable choice to take care of people.
Workplace discrimination can take many forms. Employers and co-workers could cause people discomfort or limit their earning potential because of race, age, religion, gender or disability. A person who has been denied promotions, exposed to lewd imagery and comments or received lower pay than comparable workers might want to speak with an attorney. The evidence could be evaluated by an attorney to see how best to proceed. In some cases, if the worker has followed the procedures set forth in the employee manual for making a complaint and has been rebuffed, the next step could be the filing of a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.