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Are anti-discrimination laws reducing gender discrimination?

Whether working part-time, full-time, in an office, from home or on the road, residents in Minnesota understand that having a good career is not only essential but is also life-affirming. Obtaining a dream career is challenging, so once it is obtained an employee will work hard and remain determined to maintain or progress in their career. Unfortunately, not all employees feel that their hard work is acknowledged and fear that they are being discriminated against based on a character trait and not being evaluated on their work. This could lead to a hostile work environment, a wrongful termination or even a cause of action.

Women in the workplace are often concerned about gender discrimination. A recent report focuses on the inequality of women in the workforce and how anti-discrimination laws could be working against them. In sum, it was discovered that although disparities in pay between males and females is significantly reduced, both male and female workers believe that the country as a whole needs to do something to ensure workplace equality.

One potential issue that might be difficult to overcome is that fact that women will personally constrain their career goals or path because of their desire to have children. Some women place this burden on themselves and anticipate this problem. Although anti-discrimination laws seek to prevent discrimination against pregnant women, some female workers see having a family or the desire to have a family as a constraining factor in the work world. This is a common issue and has caused some interviewers to avoid asking questions about current or future family planning in order to avoid opening up potential gender discrimination suits.

Having children and being a caregiver could hinder career advances. Whether it is because of the woman's own mental constraints or actual events in the work environment, female workers should understand that they deserve equal treatment in the workforce. Those who believe that they have been discriminated against based on their gender should seek to understand their situation. This could help them notice whether they have a potential cause of action.

Source: The Daily Beast, "Are Anti-Discrimination Laws Working Against Millennial Women?" Keli Goff, Jan. 13, 2014

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