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Discrimination continues to hold back women workers

Courts in New York and across the country are awaiting a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court over the legal understanding of sex discrimination. The Obama administration's Justice Department and several federal appeals courts say that the ban on sex discrimination includes a prohibition on discriminating against LGBT employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. However, other courts and the Trump administration's Department of Justice have argued that it does not. While this legal battle is continuing, there are also many standard sex discrimination issues that continue to affect women in the workplace.

Many people may not realize the extent to which sex discrimination continues to hold back women workers, especially since so few civil rights cases of this type make their way to court. Many women do not even file complaints with their companies or relevant government agencies because of their legitimate fear of unlawful retaliation. In addition, past rulings have made it more difficult for women to come together in class action lawsuits to challenge discriminatory practices of larger corporations.

While the #MeToo movement shined light on sexual harassment in the workplace, especially in high-profile industries like tech, politics and entertainment, women workers continue to experience a range of discriminatory conditions. Pay inequity continues to be a major problem, including for workers in similar positions and sharing equal qualifications. Women and men who seek to negotiate their salaries before starting work continue to be viewed differently, and women often never catch up to their male colleagues in terms of pay.

Other women may face pregnancy discrimination, or they may be less likely to be hired for certain jobs due to discriminatory stereotypes. Workers facing employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, disability or other protected characteristics may consult with an employment law attorney about their options to take action.

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