Gender discrimination is illegal in New Hampshire and yet it continues to be a problem. Do you know your rights?
Both federal and state law prohibit an employer from discriminating against an employee based upon gender. Title VII, the federal law, applies to employers with 15 or more employees. The state law, RSA 354-A, applies to employers with six or more employees.
The laws preventing gender discrimination are broad and cover many employment actions:
- An employer cannot terminate an employee because of gender.
- An employer cannot demote or fail to promote an employee because of gender.
- An employer cannot fail to hire an employee because of gender.
- An employer cannot create a hostile environment for an employee based upon the employee’s gender.
- An employer cannot pay a female less than a male for the same work.
How Employees Can Prevail in a Gender Discrimination Case
For an employee to prevail in a claim of gender discrimination, the employee must be able to prove that more likely than not, the employer took an adverse action against the employee as a result of the employee’s gender.
Normally, the employer will defend a case of gender discrimination by claiming that it took action against the employee (or prospective employee) for a different, non-discriminatory reason. The employee is required to show that the employer’s stated reason for its actions was false, and that the real reason is gender discrimination.
What to Do If You've Experienced Gender Discrimination
If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of gender, you should consider filing an internal complaint at your employer if there is an anti-discrimination policy in your company’s employee handbook. Whether or not you file an internal claim, the law requires you to file a claim of gender discrimination with the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission in Concord, New Hampshire (if you work for an employer with six or more employees), within 180 days of any adverse job action in order to have a claim under our state anti-discrimination statute (RSA 354-A).
In order to have a claim under Title VII, you have to file a claim with the EEOC within 300 days of any adverse job action (you also have to work for an employer with more than 15 employees to have a claim under the federal statute). Filing an administrative claim with the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission or the EEOC (or both) is required as a first step before you can bring a lawsuit against any employer alleging discrimination.
An Experienced Employment Discrimination Attorney Can Help
Legal requirements, including those for protecting your ability to bring a lawsuit against your employer if you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of gender, can be confusing. You should reach out to a knowledgeable employment attorney if you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of gender.