Best Ohio Gender Discrimination Attorney Answer: Can I be fired for complaining about being called gender specific names at work? Can I be treated worse than my male coworkers at work? Should I complain about sexual harassment?
It’s a well known sentiment that big girls don’t cry. Back on November 17, 1962, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons hit number one on the Billboard Charts with their pop song, “Big Girls Don’t Cry“ and stayed in the top position for five weeks.
Fast forward nearly 45 years later, on May 22, 2007, and pop star Fergie released her single by the same name. Fergie’s song by the same title, “Big Girls Don’t Cry“ also hit number one on the charts and became one of her longest charting singles after staying on the Hot 100 for close to 50 weeks.
However, just because famous musicians can belt out lyrics about big girls – in the context of emotional maturity – it doesn’t mean male coworkers have free license to refer to a fellow female employee by the name, “Big Girl.” Sandra Robertson, who stands over six feet tall, and is a former master sergeant in the U.S. air force where she had years of experience as a supply specialist, knows just that. Robertson recently won “big” in a wrongful termination case against her former employer for gender discrimination.
For six years Robertson worked for Hunter Panels, and parent company, Carlisle Construction Materials, Inc., where she claims to have endured gender-based discrimination and made less money than the male predecessor who formerly held her role. Robertson claims that one male coworker regularly called her, “Big Girl,” and that after she complained about the way she was being treated, another male colleague made statements that Robertson was “throwing fits” or “losing her mind.”
Over her entire employment, Robertson complained about being treated poorly because of her gender multiple times. During one six month lull in her complaints, she actually received a positive performance evaluation. However, more gender based comments resurfaced after she complained again – this time her male coworkers reported that Robertson, “may be losing control again,” and, “this is crazy.”
Robertson was able to show that just two weeks after issuing another complaint with her former employer, she was terminated. Later, after she filed suit, it came out that certain documents “supporting” her employer’s reasoning for the termination, were created and put in her personnel file only after Robertson complained. Coincidentally, another employee predicted that in the face of Robertson’s complaints, documents regarding Robertson’s alleged poor performance, “will end up being generated.”
After hearing all the evidence, the jury returned a verdict in Robertson’s favor in the amount of $13 million, with a hefty portion of the award being attributed to punitive damages. As we’ve blogged about before, Robertson had many issues with her former employer that were potentially actionable including:
- Receiving lower pay for work that was equivalent to the male predecessor employee in her role;
- Being treated worse than her male coworker comparators;
- Having offensive gender based comments directed to her;
- Experiencing retaliation after complaining about gender discrimination.
If you have experience gender discrimination or harassment, or opposed or complained about unlawful discrimination or harassment, the best thing to do is contact an attorney for advice. Although the jury in this case award Robertson $13 million for her law suit in Pennsylvania, employees in the State of Ohio are protected under both state and federal laws. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits gender discrimination, and retaliation in all fifty states. Similarly, Ohio Revised Code § 4112.02 states that it is unlawful for a qualified employer to “discharge without just cause, to refuse to hire, or otherwise to discriminate against that person with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, or any matter directly or indirectly related to employment” based on Gender, or Retaliation.
If you feel that you are being discriminated based on your gender or sex, then call the right attorney. It is never appropriate to discriminate against female employees. Discrimination against women includes being harassed, fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, denied a promotion, and denied wages or not receiving equal pay. When you call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040, you will meet with an attorney from the Spitz law firm to discuss wrongful discrimination claims and help you determine the best way to pursue your gender/sex discrimination claims.
The materials available at the top of this page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Your best option is to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to gender discrimination questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of the Spitz law firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.