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Sex discrimination hurts women on the job

Women on the job in Missouri continue to face a range of obstacles to equality in the workplace. While the #MeToo campaign highlighted the scourge of sexual harassment in the workplace, this is only one of the issues that women face on the job. The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing several cases with major implications for the legal understanding of sex discrimination in American workplaces. Several federal appeals courts, as well as the Department of Justice during the Obama administration, argued that sex discrimination includes within its ambit discrimination against LGBT workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

However, the Trump administration's Justice Department and other courts have differed, arguing that sex discrimination is restricted to discrimination explicitly against workers for being male or female. Even traditional sex discrimination complaints, however, have faced serious obstacles. Many women who face employment discrimination never file a formal complaint, especially due to the fear of retaliation. Of those that do, only around 6% ever go to court. Even those cases that go to court may face an uphill battle, especially as Supreme Court decisions over the past 10 years have limited workers' rights to pursue discrimination complaints through a class-action lawsuit.

Women continue to face pay inequity on the job. Numerous studies have indicated that women's work is often devalued, and women negotiating intensely for higher salaries are more likely to be viewed negatively than men doing the same. Other women may find themselves subject to pregnancy discrimination or denied opportunities because of a belief that they may become pregnant.

Women who face employment discrimination may encounter a number of obstacles in filing claims. An employment law attorney may provide advice and guidance to workers denied jobs and promotions or dismissed from their jobs due to race, sex or other discriminatory factors.

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