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Discrimination women face in the workplace

Many times, for women, the focus of discrimination at work is on sexual harassment, gender inequality and maternity leave. While these are certainly pertinent for you as a female employee, they are not the only forms of discrimination you may face at your job.

There are additional ways your employer may discriminate against you as a woman. Knowing what they are can help you recognize when it is happening so you can take legal action to end it.

Age

Although men face age discrimination in the workforce, women experience more social pressure for maintaining and valuing youth. This mentality can even leak into industries in which age is irrelevant, causing you to lose a promotion to someone younger and/or more supposedly attractive even though you are more qualified for the position. Your employer may even try to force you into early retirement through a hostile work environment to avoid wrongful termination, though that approach is also illegal.

Mental health

Statistics show that women have higher rates of depression and anxiety than men do, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Mental illness is a type of disability and is therefore a protected class. However, your employer may not know that the law covers mental health or may downplay its seriousness by blaming symptoms on stereotypical female emotional and hormonal sensitivity. Either way, such a response is not acceptable.

Public assistance

Unfortunately, being on any type of public assistance carries a social stigma, especially if you are a woman. Others may misjudge your morals, financial responsibility and work ethic based on your need for help. Your employer may treat you as inferior to other workers or keep you in low-level or stereotyped roles despite positive performance and high skills.

Marital status

When it comes to relationship status, no answer seems to be safe. Being married or single can lead to sexual harassment, inappropriate questions regarding personal choices, passed-up advancement and other forms of disrespect and discrimination.

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