There are a number of local, state and federal laws that protect employees from their employers' prejudices. It is against the law, for example, for an employer to refused to hire someone because of his or her national background. It is also against the law to not make reasonable accommodations for someone because of a religious belief, like allowing Muslim women to wear a hijab as part of their work uniforms. And, while some people may not realize it, it is against the law to discriminate against pregnant women.
Readers in New York may be interested in the recent case of a female sales manager who filed a hostile work environment claim against her former boss. The woman says she suffered sexual harassment while in the car with her then-supervisor after attending a training session. The court disagreed, but its ruling could give those filing future claims clearer guidelines that could help ensure their success.
Last week we talked about how women make less than men, and this week we will continue to look at gender-based discrimination. Although this week's specific story happened in Ohio, it is about Manhattan-based JPMorgan Chase, and, sadly, the kind of inappropriate and illegal sex-based discrimination that has been alleged could happen at any New York office.
Though New York certainly doesn't have the worst wage gap between men and women, it is not at the top. For every one dollar that a man earns, a woman earns 82.9 cents on average. Not only is this wildly unfair, it potentially violates the federal Equal Pay Act. The law, like many federal and New York-state laws, tries to remedy the wage gap between men and women, something that has been plaguing our society since time immemorial.