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Can you sue your workplace for discrimination?

Atlanta, GA |

I am witnessing a lot of discrimination in my workplace against female employees. I am a female and I have worked for this company for a year and I am witnessing men that are being hand picked by management to become supervisors "favoritism". These men have not applied for supervisor positions, nor have they had intentions to apply, until management approached them and promised that if they apply they will give them these positions. Let me remind you that these men have no seniority over these females. One of my co workers that is a female, has been employed with the same company 7 years and has applied for these positions several times and has been turned down, and that same position has been given to a male employee. I feel discouraged to apply for a higher position.

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Attorney answers 3


The bottom line of your post seems to be can you sue your employer, and presumably get a big check, for discrimination that did not happen to you but you watched it happen? If your co-worker believes she has been a victim of discrimination (which takes more than just showing a man got the job or she has been there longer), than she should see a lawyer. If you want to apply for a promotion, then you should apply for the job. You might consider seeking a job elsewhere if you believe this is how the company is run. While there are sometimes claims based on an overall discriminatory environment or culture, but it generally takes more than one or two examples of what you believe to be discriminatory treatment (and you've only been there a year). Of course, you are free to see a lawyer to review all of the circumstances.


The best advice would be to set an appointment with an attorney who specializes in employment law and sexual harassment cases. Then after a thorough review of all of the facts, they can give you an opinion as to whether you have a viable claim, and what procedural steps you should take. Many attorneys handle these cases on a contingency percentage fee, taking a percentage of the recovery. In contingency fee arrangements, there are no hourly fees. In some states attorneys do not charge anything for an initial appointment to discuss your case but in others there is a reasonable fee charged to compensate the attorney for their time and advice. I would suggest that you begin your search for an attorney on this Avvo website. There is a tab "Find A Lawyer" on the home page of Avvo at that will help you find a lawyer in this practice area in your locale. Good luck!

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Please keep in mind that this recommendation is based on a limited number of facts provided in your question. Additional information may be required, and additional facts may change this recommendation. What you are talking about meets one of the basic types of gender discrimination, disparate treatment. Co-workers are often treated differently than others, but if the motivating factor for that differing treatment is gender, then the employer is potentially violating the law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act requires first that an employer have more than 15 employees, but if you employer does have more than 15 employees, your next step should be to apply for a promotion for which you are qualified. You personally must be affected by the discrimination to do anything about it. If you are turned down, then you should find an experienced attorney in your area (check with the National Employment Lawyers Association).

The foregoing are comments to a general question of law, and should in no way be interpreted as legal advice. This information does not create an attorney-client relationship. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

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