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Texas woman alleges sexism kept her from getting promotions

A Texas woman filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that she was denied advancement with her employer for eight years. The suit alleges that less experienced and under-qualified male employees were promoted above her during that time for information technology jobs. Hired in 2005, she is the only woman in her company's IT server department.

Her complaint alleges that the male employees had fewer qualifications or more disciplinary actions when compared to her own job history. She also says she has been denied training opportunities readily granted to males and claims to have been subjected to higher discipline standards by her employers.

In addition to prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender, the law also prohibits retaliation by employers in employment disputes arising out of claims of discrimination or sexual harassment. If an employee reports such misconduct, the employer is barred from taking actions such a firing, demoting, or refusing to promote the employee solely because the employee made a complaint. This applies to both complaints made directly to the employer and to complaints made to outside authorities.

If you have made a discrimination complaint and believe you are now being denied promotions or are otherwise being retaliated against, the first step is to document everything possible by recording each incident and saving any written communications. One frequent defense against a retaliation or discrimination claim is that the actual cause for the alleged retaliation was not a retaliatory intent, but instead substandard performance by the employee. Employees who can document instances of discrimination might have an advantage if their case comes to a trial.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Woman alleges sexism prevented her from advancing in employment," John Suayan, Oct. 10, 2013

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