A federal judge has just ruled that a female attorney whose superiors told her she was just “not that pretty” can bring a claim for sex bias against her employer, the city of Evanston.
Unfortunately despite advances in work place equality, discrimination still remains an issue. Most studies show that women are not paid equally to men, and women are still being sexually harassed in both boardrooms and factory floors throughout the U.S. Fortunately, there are laws against sex discrimination. Title VII prohibits discrimination “because of” an employee’s sex. This means that your employer may not take an adverse action against you because of your sex. In other words, your sex cannot play a role in any aspect of your employment, including hiring, transfers, promotions, pay, disciplinary action, suspensions, and discharges. In addition to Title VII, a related law, the Equal Pay Act, requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work. If you believe that you may have been subjected to discrimination based on your sex, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced Atlanta employment discrimination attorney right away. A skilled sex discrimination and harassment attorney can provide crucial guidance concerning your next steps.
According to the facts in Tober-Purze v. City of Evanston the female attorney – Elke Tober-Purze – was subjected to derogatory comments while she was employed by the City of Evanston. In addition to being told she wasn’t all that pretty, her superiors told her that previous hires had been “just gorgeous” and wore “tight sweaters” and “short skirts.” She was then fired 3 days after the city learned that she filed a compliant with the Illinois Department of Labor.
One of the supervisors also told Tober-Purze and her other female co-workers, “it’s been all downhill since women got the vote.” The superior also told them to get rid of magazines featuring female attorneys.
Tober-Purze filed claims of sex bias as well as age discrimination and retaliation.
While the court did not conclusively determine whether these comments could be considered “sex bias” Judge John W. Darrah found hat she and other female attorneys in Evanston could plausibly state a case of disparate treatment in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Because the city replaced Tober-Purze and other age-protected employees with significantly younger attorneys, the judge also advanced her Age Discrimination in Employment Act claim.
For more information about employment discrimination or if you believe that you may have been subjected to harassment or discrimination at work, please contact the top Georgia discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.