Can I Sue a Business for Not Hiring Based on my Gender?

July 30, 2018 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Can I Sue a Business for Not Hiring Based on my Gender?

Gender Discrimination in Employment

In the past decade, there have been many breakthroughs for different groups that have been discriminated against in the workplace. Now more than ever, the use of much less discriminatory employment practices has become more widespread. However, this doesn't mean that all employers are not discriminatory in their hiring practices. One of the most commonly discriminated areas in the hiring process is gender. It's no secret that certain fields of the workforce have been attributed to certain genders that typically dominate them. A woman may not be considered viable for a job as a bouncer at a club or a man may be seen as ill suited to work in child care. Regardless of the gender, it is illegal to discriminate based on it in the hiring process and therefore can result in a lawsuit.

Gender Discrimination Law

It is illegal under federal and Florida state law to discriminate against employees based on race, disability, national origin, religion, marital status, pregnancy, or sex. Through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the aforementioned basis'. The Florida Civil Rights Act works on the state level to prohibit discrimination in the workplace Regulation and monitoring so that these non discriminatory practices are stopped is done by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC. If you have a Title VII claim because you have been discriminated against by an employer then it would be filed to the EEOC. What is Considered Gender Discrimination? Gender discrimination is when the intentionally different treatment of a specific employee results in an adverse employment action which could be anything from lower pay to a denial of a promotion. In hiring, gender discrimination is when the employment of a certain employee is forgone specifically because of the prospective employee's gender. Proving gender discrimination requires demonstrating that the job would have been reasonably within the plaintiff's reach yet the only variable setting them apart and resulting in them being turned away was their gender.

Individualized vs Systemic Discrimination

Ultimately, Title VII defends against systemic and individualized discrimination. When the discrimination is against a specific person then that is considered individualized discrimination. When the discrimination is part of an institution against an entire group then it is systemic. If you are pursuing a claim because you were denied a job because of your gender then you are looking at individualized discrimination. Transgender and Sexual Orientation Discrimination While it is generally looked down upon to deny a job to someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, it is still a very common practice and there is much less that can be done about it legally than in the more common gender discrimination cases. Title VII does not specify sexual orientation or gender identity as things that fall under its purview and the same is true for many state anti-discrimination laws. However, there are a growing amount of states and municipalities adopting laws to protect LGBT from discrimination. Florida currently does not have any state laws protecting transgender individuals from employment discrimination but certain municipalities have passed ordinances protecting them from discrimination. Also, there have been several cases of LGBT employees recovering compensation for receiving wrongful termination in Florida due to their sexual orientation so a successful case against an employer for sexual orientation or transgender hiring discrimination is not impossible. 

Suing an Employer for Gender Discrimination

Taking legal action against an employer for discriminating because of your gender may seem simple enough but there are some details that can make it a bit more complex than one would anticipate. Suing for discriminatory hiring practices can be a little more difficult than suing for something like discrimination causing a less qualified person of a different gender getting a promotion over you. If you are suing for discrimination over hiring practices you are doing so from outside of the company which makes it much harder to prove that they did not hire you because of your gender. You can't simply go in for an interview and not get the job. You need to provide good evidence to those investigating the discrimination. You need to establish that it was your gender that an employer discriminated against and not a myriad of other reasons that an employer can quote for your not getting the job.

Employer Defense Against a Discrimination Claim

Gender discrimination has been going on for quite some time and employers have learned how to create all kinds of loopholes and workarounds so that they can not seem to be guilty of discrimination but instead of just choosing particular traits in their prospective employees that can be restrictive towards certain groups. For example, an employer can't say that you can't work for their company because you are a woman since that is considered discrimination. Instead, they can specify that the position a woman might apply for requires the applicant to be able to lift 100 pounds over their head which doesn't necessarily restrict the position from women but favors men much more. Sometimes a company may wait to let you know that they actually will not be able to hire anyone because of budget cuts or a similar reason. A couple weeks or months later they then might hire someone of the opposite gender with similar or even lower qualifications.

Evidence of Gender Discrimination

Evidence is naturally key in deciding a gender discrimination case. The two kinds of evidence you will have in a case are direct and circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence like “no women wanted” part of a job posting or a recording of an interviewer telling you that they can't hire you because you're a woman are incredibly rare. Therefore, circumstantial evidence is what is typically relied on to create a presumption of discrimination. Circumstantial evidence of gender discrimination in hiring relies on a lot of comparison between the person discriminated against and other applicants and existing employees within the company. Things like the employer having a history of only hiring a certain gender or consisting of mainly a single gender, the field being known as one dominated by a certain gender, illegal interview questions, an applicant of the opposite gender getting the job with less credentials or the company consisting of lower qualified employees of the opposite gender are considered circumstantial evidence in a gender discrimination employment claim.

Seek an Experienced Employment Law Attorney

If you or a loved one have been discriminated against in the workplace based on your, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, or national origin, then do not hesitate to Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about receiving a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise that you will need to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA's offices. Please call us at 727-451-6900. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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