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Employment Lawsuits Will Break The Glass Ceiling

by | May 20, 2022 | Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Gender Discrimination, Wrongful Termination |

“Can I make a difference?”

“I want to make sure that this does not happen to anyone else.”

“This is not about money; it is about change.”

“I want to protect the workers that are still there.”

These are things that our employees’ rights attorneys hear from clients all the time. While employment laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”), provide legal protection for employees, it is really the employees who step up to enforce those laws that really effectuate change.

For example, former NYPD Three Star Chief Lori Pollock just settled her lawsuit against the City. In the lawsuit, Pollock averred that former NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea engaged in a pattern of “blatant gender-based treatment,” including creating a glass ceiling that denied women opportunities for advancement. Pollock joined the NYPD in 1987 and eventually became one of just five women in the department’s 176-year history who reached the rank of three-star chief. Her lawsuit details incidents where she, as well as other women officers, were regularly undermined. Shea demoted Pollock from her position as chief of crime control strategies, which put her three down from the commissioner at executive board meetings. After demoting her, Shea intentionally embarrassed Pollack at the next meeting in front of everyone by yelling, “Hey, Lori, how do you like it at the other end of the table?” This can only be viewed, in my humble opinion, as an effort to put a woman in her place and discourage any other women from seeking advancement or equality. Shortly thereafter, Pollack was forced into retirement and sued the City.

While the case settled for $275,000, Pollack believes that her lawsuit combined with other lawsuits filed by other policewomen contributed to New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ historic decision to appoint Keechant Sewell as the first female NYPD Commissioner.

Congratulations Lori on the settlement. But even more importantly, thank you for bringing change for all the women that will follow in your footsteps.

What is the glass ceiling?

Best Employment Discrimination Lawyer Answer: The glass ceiling is a term that is used to describe unofficial but real barriers that block women and other minorities from achieving higher positions or pay in the workplace. Coined by writer Marilyn Loden in 1978, the term glass ceiling refers to an invisible or clear boundary (i.e., glass) that prevents upward movement of women to C-suite or other executive roles, which were typically on higher floors (i.e., ceiling).

Does Title VII protect against the glass ceiling?

Best Gender Discrimination Attorney Answer: Yes. Title VII prohibits all forms of discrimination in the workplace based on race/color, religion, gender/sex (including pregnancy and LGBTQ+ status), and national origin. This includes making it unlawful for employers to promote men over similarly or more qualified women. (Best Law Read: Gender Discrimination: A Failure To Promote Case Hits $500k Verdict; My Company Doesn’t Allow Women To Be Promoted!; My Employer Will Not Promote Me Because Of My Age. I Need The Top Employment Lawyer In Ohio!).

In order to properly assert a failure-to-promote claim under Title VII, the ADA, or the ADEA, an employee must allege specific facts in the complaint that would establish four elements: “(1) she is a member of a protected group, (2) there was a specific position for which she applied, (3) she was qualified for that position, and (4) [her employer] rejected her application under circumstances that give rise to an inference” of discrimination or liability. Williams v. Giant Food Inc., 370 F.3d 423, 430 & n.5 (4th Cir. 2004); Evans v. Technologies Applications & Serv., 80 F.3d 954, 959-64 (4th Cir. 1996).

How can I stop gender discrimination at my job?

If you are facing gender or sex discrimination by your manager, supervisor or boss, you should call the right attorney right now. Title VII protects women from discrimination in the workplace. Employment discrimination against female workers includes being harassed, fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, denied a promotion, and denied wages or not receiving equal pay. When you Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm to schedule a free and confidential consultation, you will meet with an attorney to discuss wrongful discrimination claims and help you determine the best way to pursue your gender/sex discrimination claims. (Read: What is the Spitz No Fee Guarantee?)  The best way to address gender discrimination and a sexist boss or manager is not to wait. Call our top attorneys in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, and Detroit.


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.


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