Women enjoy most freedoms today that men enjoy, and have joined the American work force in great numbers. But, discrimination against women still exists in the workplace in various forms. Women should know their rights as U.S. workers and take responsibility for helping to stop violations in the workplace.
Types of women’s rights:
- Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964 – It is illegal for employers to exclude qualified women from any available position. Women can sue a potential employer, if they feel he has excluded them from a position based on gender.
- Equal Pay Act of 1963 – It states that employers must pay women the same amount they would pay a man in the same position.Women can sue their employers if they can prove that a male in the same position earns higher wages.
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 – According to this Act, it’s illegal to discriminate against pregnant woman in the workplace. An employer cannot fire a woman or exclude her from a position due to pregnancy as long as she can perform satisfactorily.
- Right against harassment – An employee of any company where a woman works may not sexually harass the woman in any way.Women should report offensive conduct such as jokes, name calling, physical assaults or threats, insults etc. to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or a supervisor.
Even though there are laws to protect the rights of working women, workplaces are far from equal.
- Women make 75 to 90 cents to every man’s dollar.
- Under FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act), women are eligible for 12 weeks of maternity leave. But, women working for a small company or those who have been employed for less than a year get only 8 weeks of maternity leave.
- Harassment complaints are ignored many times, because taking action is not a priority.
- There are approximately 50% women in the workforce, but women aren’t getting 50% of leadership roles.
Nevertheless, America has come a long way to having the rights we enjoy today in the workplace. But, there is still significant room for improvement.