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Discrimination or just double standard? Florida

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  • Discrimination or just double standard? Florida

    My company hired a new Director (female) a little over a year ago, who has from the onset of her employment shown an obvious proclivity towards females within the company. She immediately surrounded herself with the female employees and began to assign duties and powers to these employees that were not in their job descriptions. Within a year's time, almost all of the male employees have been eliminated from the company and replaced with females. Many of my female coworkers have confided to me that even they are uncomfortable with the atmosphere created by her favoritism, and that they feel that it is obviously the result of sex preference.

    My primary concern has to do with equal pay and equal opportunity for promotion. I have been at this company (this campus...a private school) longer that any one employee here except for one out of twenty full time staff. I am and have been a manager of the largest (by far) education program at the school and have performed exceptionally well during this time, as reflected in all of my evals. I recently applied and interviewed for an assistant director position, for which I meet or exceed all the qualifications. During my interview, I was questioned by a panel of employees with our director, all female, many of whom were subordinate to me even now. Afterward, several told me how uncomfortable they were about this. I wound up competing for the position with another employee who has less experience, less time with the company, and is not male. After the interviews, I heard comments like "But she is a smart woman" time and again to counter the other applicants lack of experience. My director has made comments recently about how men intimidate her and such. Needless to say, the other candidate, once my subordinate, is now my boss. The reaction from most of those who interviewed us is embarrassment.

    The equal pay issue is about another manager who was hired two years after me, filling the same position, starting at the same pay, with a smaller program and fewer actual duties. She quit the position within a few months, and was subsequently hired back at almost THREE TIMES the amount of pay as before with a signing bonus. Our titles are the same, our stated job descriptions are nearly identical, and I actually have more responsibilities. She does posses one degree higher than I do, but that is not a requirement of the job. Any requests I have made for a substantial raise have been denied. She, by the way, socializes with the director both in and outside of the business, and also is free to make her own rules and hours practically.

    I understand that favoritism is not illegal. However, the popular perception from most at work is that there is obvious sexual discrimination happening, against males. I have read the Equal Pay Act of 1963 criteria as explained by the EEOC, and I feel that there is real discrimination here.
    Our company handbook, in the Employment and Promotion section, states "We are committed to a policy and practice of deciding all matters relating to employment, including compensation, advancement, transfer, and promotion on the basis of qualifications and merit alone. There is no discrimination because of race, religion, color, age, disability, sex," ....etc. It then goes on to say "..we maintain an affirmative action program, the purpose of which is to put forth maximum effort to achieve full utilization of the capabilities and productivity of minority members and women in the community." What??? "Minorities" and women comprise the vast majority here!
    Sorry this is so long. Any advice other than "find another job"? How can the above statement be legal?

  • #2
    There is no question that, historically, women have been discriminated against far more often than men, which is how women have come to be considered a minority. However, discrimination laws do not just cover minorities; they cover everyone. It is just as illegal to discriminate against someone for being male, as for being female.

    So if you believe that gender discrimination is occurring, you have as much right to file a complaint with the EEOC as a woman would.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      I know I have a right to file a complaint. I'm asking for an educated opinion about the validity of a complaint based on this situation. Also, does a contradictory Non-discrimination policy as its worded above "hold water" legally?


      • #4
        Why are you worried about its "validity" from us? File the complaint and see what the EEOC says. Worse case scenario, you will receive a "right to sue" letter and then you find an attorney to take your case.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


        • #5
          Is this not a forum about employment discrimination law? What the point of this if you simply refer me to the EEOC? Anyone can do that. If its too much to ask for an educated opinion that is topical to this forum, then why have the forum in the first place?


          • #6
            You lost me when you got whiny and demanding. If you want instant, detailed advice, get a lawyer.
            I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.


            • #7
              More empty talk. Thanks anyway.


              • #8
                The problem is, this is not a discussion group. The purpose of the forum is to provide general legal information, not specific legal advice. For that you need a lawyer or the appropriate regulatory agency, in this case the EEOC.

                The points that were raised on the other forum where you posted this question are valid ones. If you are looking for someone to say, Yes, in my opinion you do have a valid discrimination case, or No, in my opinion you don't have a valid discrimination case, you're in the wrong forum. We have only one side of the story and quite possibly not all the information. In any case, the opinions here are not binding on either state or Federal regulatory agencies.

                If you think you have a valid discrimination claim, then you should file it regardless of what a message board says.
                The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


                • #9
                  We told you what the law says - it is illegal to discriminate against someone for being male as it is to discriminate against someone for being female.

                  If you believe you are being discriminated against due to your gender, we told you what agcy. to put a complaint in with - the EEOC. They will investigate.
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


                  The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.