Gender Discrimination

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Portland Gender Discrimination Attorneys

Fighting for Fair Pay in Oregon

Employees of all gender identities have the right to a safe workplace free of hostility. Federal law also guarantees workers that they will receive equal pay for equal work regardless of their gender. Oregon’s anti-discrimination laws also work to protect people of all genders, including those associated with LGBTQ communities.

Our Portland gender discrimination lawyers at Bullman Law Firm can help you address pay disparities and workplace mistreatment related to your gender identity. We are committed to doing everything possible to help with your discrimination claim and can assist you in filing charges with state and federal enforcement agencies.

We can help you fight for fair pay and stand up to other forms of gender discrimination. Call (503) 714-9311 or contact us online to schedule a free initial case review.

Understanding Oregon’s Gender Discrimination Laws

Several federal and state level laws protect against discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sex and gender. The Equal Pay Act is a federal law that mandates that all employees must receive equal pay for equal work. In other words, one employee cannot be paid more than another employee that is doing “substantially” the same type of work. Under the Equal Pay Act, job titles do not matter: Job responsibilities determine whether a position is “substantially equal” to another and therefore whether it necessitates that pay be equal.

Unlike many other federal and state discrimination laws, you do not have to file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) before filing a lawsuit against your employer if your rights have been violated under the Equal Pay Act. In other words, if you have been unequally paid under the terms defined by the Equal Pay Act, you have the option of suing your employer immediately.

Oregon law explicitly protects all types of gender identities, including gender expressions common in LGBTQ communities. These state protections, in addition to several other federal laws, protect against other forms of discrimination in the workplace as a result of your gender.

Examples of discrimination on the basis of gender include:

  • Unequal pay
  • Targeted discipline
  • Hostile work environments
  • Retaliation after your chosen gender is disclosed
  • Denied promotions or advancement opportunities
  • Wrongful termination
  • Any other form of mistreatment that directly results from your gender

Recognizing Gender Discrimination During a Hiring Process

Under state and federal law, employers are not allowed to discriminate against job candidates on the basis of their gender. These protections extend to all gender identities at the state-level.

You may be experiencing gender discrimination during a hiring process if:

  • You identify as a woman and are asked questions that men would not be asked, such as whether you intend to have children or intend to marry soon
  • You notice that there are few to no women in the office you are interviewing, which may suggest that the employer exclusively or almost exclusively hires men
  • You are asked if you have thick skin or whether you can “get along” with a male-heavy workplace
  • You are asked questions or face comments that border on sexual harassment
  • You are asked specific, invasive questions about your gender identity or expressions
  • Interview opportunities are deliberately and exclusively scheduled late in the day, preventing candidates with children from attending

Filing a Gender Discrimination Charge or Lawsuit in Oregon

If you discover that you are being paid less than someone of another gender despite doing “substantially equal” work, your employer is likely violating the federal Equal Pay Act. When these disparities become apparent, an employer cannot reduce the salary and benefits of the employee making more. They must raise your salary and benefits to be equal to your peer. It may be worth exploring whether your employer is willing to honor their obligations under this law, but it is also possible that they will refuse to cooperate.

When your rights under the Equal Pay Act are violated, you can immediately file a lawsuit against your employer and seek damages. If you experienced any other form of gender-based discrimination, you will likely need to first file a complaint with the EEOC or BOLI before you can sue.

You have up to 180 days to file a charge with the federal EEOC from the date of the discrimination incident. You may have up to 300 days to file a complaint with the EEOC if the state of Oregon also enforces the type of gender discrimination involved in your charge. You have as many as 5 years to file a complaint with BOLI.

If you have suffered any form of gender discrimination, it is important that you speak to us as soon as possible. Our Portland gender discrimination attorneys can help assess what legal strategy will be most advantageous for your claim.

After filing a complaint with the EEOC or BOLI, the agency will conduct an investigation to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to suggest that gender discrimination occurred. We can help you submit all relevant evidence and documentation that will support your case. If the EEOC or BOLI determine that gender discrimination occurred, they can attempt to. Alternatively, they may choose to litigate on your behalf.

If the EEOC or BOLI choose not to pursue legal action or determine there is not sufficient evidence of gender discrimination, you will receive a Notice of Right to Sue. This allows you to file a lawsuit against your employer within 90 days of receipt.

Our Portland gender discrimination lawyers at Bullman Law Firm can help you explore all of your legal options when facing unfair pay or other forms of discriminatory behavior in the workplace. We are committed to helping you exercise your rights under the Equal Pay Act and other relevant state and federal laws. Our team also has considerable trial experience and is prepared to take your case to court, if necessary.

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