Federal employment discrimination laws are meant to protect vulnerable groups from discriminatory hiring and employment practices, including women in fields that are traditionally dominated by men. It is to be hoped that qualified people of all genders in Florida receive the same considerations when applying for jobs that have, in the past, been restricted mainly to men or to women. A recent lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission highlights the continued opposition that women may encounter in male-dominated industries.
According to the South Florida Business Journal, a woman with 20 years of experience in construction applied for a job as a heavy machinery operator at BHT Constructions LLC in 2017 at the company’s Clewiston site. Reportedly, a man who had been a colleague of the female applicant was hired instead, and he was told by a supervisor that the company does not hire women. Upon hearing the complaint of gender discrimination, the EEOC found sufficient reason to pursue a federal lawsuit against the company. In addition to seeking compensation for financial losses and emotional pain, the lawsuit seeks an injunction against the company for gender discrimination in its hiring practices.
The outcome of the lawsuit remains to be seen. Legal action such as the above example serves to discourage employers and managers from engaging in adverse hiring, employment and disciplinary decisions based on gender, race, age and other factors. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination still occurs. Those who have been discriminated against have numerous options, including the ability to file a lawsuit.