As part of the “Me Too” movement, people talk a lot about gender equality, especially in the workplace. While a lot of companies have made tremendous progress in promoting gender equality and female leadership, there are still lots of things that can easily go wrong for female employees. As the gender gap continues to exist and is even getting worse with COVID-19’s impact, what do female employees evaluate and do to protect their rights?

Sexual Harassment

Working remotely may have been a double-edged sword for this potential cause of action. On the one hand, there is less face-to-face interaction, hence less opportunity for any kind of inappropriate physical contact or advances. On the other hand, because we are blurring the boundaries of work and life, it may be easier than ever to make a seemingly random comment about someone’s attire or even bedroom setting showing up in the zoom calls.

Here is a reminder of the common list of inappropriate behavior based on a “hostile work environment”:

  1. Commenting on employees’ appearance or attractiveness 
  2. Discussing anything related to sexual life in front of an employee or asking an employee about her sexual life 
  3. Sharing inappropriate pictures or jokes 
  4. Sending suggestive texts or emails 
  5. Sending unwanted gifts of romantic nature 
  6. Spreading sexual rumors about an employee 
  7. Unwanted hugs or physical touching  
  8. Sexist comments or actions (when not invited to join the same meetings with their male co-workers while doing the same job, for example)

There is another category of sexual harassment called quid pro quo harassment. Basically, a manager requests sexual favors in exchange for the promotion of the employee. We notice in today’s environment this kind of behavior tends to be less prominent, whereas hostile work environment-related behaviors tend to be more subtle and thus less easy to detect. For employees experiencing any of these behaviors, report the incident to HR right away and ensure they will take action. If they don’t, you may want to talk to an employment lawyer specializing in sexual harassment-related discrimination. Here at Trusli, finding a good employment lawyer will take you less than 10 minutes. For employers or managers, you must ensure you properly train your managers on all of this and outline inappropriate behaviors in an employee’s handbook. It is important to have an HR department that can handle employee complaints, and conduct a serious investigation when something does arise. If proved, don’t be afraid of taking action. We also have excellent employment lawyers on our platform at Trusli who can advise you on how to navigate through these sensitive issues.

Wrongful Termination

With the impact of COVID and the significant number of layoffs and furloughs happening, female employees should also ask themselves whether they have become victims of wrongful termination. There are a few ways this can happen.

Terminated Solely Due to Membership in a Protected Class

If the employer makes a decision to terminate an employee solely because the employee is a member of a protected class (e.g. race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, citizenship, marital status, sex (including pregnancy), among others), the employee may have a strong case for wrongful termination.  If a female employee is singled out during COVID and is fired solely because of her gender or being pregnant, please consult an employment lawyer for wrongful termination at Trusli’s platform.

Retaliation

This is related to the point above regarding Sexual Harassment. If a female employee feels sexually harassed, files a claim, and then, later on, is fired because of this, the employee may have a strong case of wrongful termination for retaliation.

Good Practices for the Employer

As the employer, while promoting gender equality and female leadership is certainly of critical importance, having the right training, policies, and protocols in place is key to avoiding any kind of gender-related lawsuits. Having a strong in-house counsel well versed in employment law and reliable outside employment counsel is also extremely important. In addition, given the challenges faced by women during and post COVID, a few things to consider are:

  1. How do promote a culture of inclusion and diversity? 
  2. How to design and implement policies that can keep women at work, such as onsite childcare, flexible working from home policies, generous maternity and paternity leave policies, etc.?  Even things like employee fertility benefits are on the rise for the elite Silicon Valley companies. 

Ultimately, companies should work on a culture to encourage women to lean in and fully realize their potential.  Studies show that companies with gender diversity are more productive. Retaining and promoting women will create an edge for the companies who want to have an edge in the fierce competition facing us.

Female Employees at the Workplace

Sign up to receive our email newsletters

Thank you for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Gloria Qiao J.D.
CEO

Gloria is the founder of Sleegal.ai, seasoned lawyer, business person and entrepreneur, determined to bring legal help to you at an affordable cost efficiently.

Gloria Qiao J.D.
CEO

Gloria is the founder of Sleegal.ai, seasoned lawyer, business person and entrepreneur, determined to bring legal help to you at an affordable cost efficiently.

Got a question?

Drop us a note. We will get back to you within 1 business day.

Thank you! Your inquiry has been received.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Blog

Procurement Automation Should Not Stop With Approvals and Automated Workflows

August 9, 2022

Recently, we have discussed how to best begin deploying AI and technology in support of lawyers. But what about procurement?

Read more

How to automate your contract negotiation? The legal playbook is the answer

August 5, 2022

When it comes to lawyers using AI and technology, many general counsels and heads of procurement ask us: where is the best place to start?

Read more

Consider changing your business type? It's easier than you think

July 28, 2022

We will discuss why businesses want to change the business type (most of the time, from a less complex structure to a more complex structure) and how to change the business type. 

Read more

Why and How Trusli Will Lead the Technlogy Innovation for Lawyers (And Others)

July 21, 2022

Many of the readers may ask: why you? Why do you believe that you are uniquely positioned to lead technology for lawyers, build lawyer tools, and even for others like in-house departments of tech companies? And if you are qualified, how will you do so differently from others? Here are some thoughts.

Read more

Why Document Automation Is the Core of All Law Firm Automation

July 12, 2022

While there are tons of processes to automate and apply machine learning for law firm practice management software, a great place to start is document automation for large and small law firms. Here at Trusli, we have developed multiple automation tools that are contextual, intelligent, and pain-free for lawyers.

Read more

Infringement or Necessity? The Balancing Act of the Second Amendment Gun Ownership Rights

June 30, 2022

A mass shooting is an incident in which four or more people were shot or killed, excluding the shooter. As of May 31, there were 230 mass shootings in the United States in 2022. This topic has been especially discussed in the media recently after the Uvalde Elementary School shooting where 19 students and 2 teachers were fatally shot by an 18-year-old who legally bought AR rifles just days before the shooting.

Read more
View all posts
// EMAIL DOMAINS TO BLOCK var emailList = /^([\w-\.]+@(?!gmail.com)(?!yahoo.com)(?!hotmail.com)(?!aol.com)(?!hotmail.co.uk)(?!hotmail.fr)(?!msn.com)(?!yahoo.fr)(?!wanadoo.fr)(?!orange.fr)(?!comcast.net)(?!yahoo.co.uk)(?!yahoo.com.br)(?!yahoo.co.in)(?!live.com)(?!rediffmail.com)(?!free.fr)(?!gmx.de)(?!web.de)(?!yandex.ru)(?!ymail.com)(?!libero.it)(?!outlook.com)(?!uol.com.br)(?!bol.com.br)(?!mail.ru)(?!cox.net)(?!hotmail.it)(?!sbcglobal.net)(?!sfr.fr)(?!live.fr)(?!verizon.net)(?!live.co.uk)(?!googlemail.com)(?!yahoo.es)(?!ig.com.br)(?!live.nl)(?!bigpond.com)(?!terra.com.br)(?!yahoo.it)(?!neuf.fr)(?!yahoo.de)(?!alice.it)(?!rocketmail.com)(?!att.net)(?!laposte.net)(?!facebook.com)(?!bellsouth.net)(?!yahoo.in)(?!hotmail.es)(?!charter.net)(?!yahoo.ca)(?!yahoo.com.au)(?!rambler.ru)(?!hotmail.de)(?!tiscali.it)(?!shaw.ca)(?!yahoo.co.jp)(?!sky.com)(?!earthlink.net)(?!optonline.net)(?!freenet.de)(?!t-online.de)(?!aliceadsl.fr)(?!virgilio.it)(?!home.nl)(?!qq.com)(?!telenet.be)(?!me.com)(?!yahoo.com.ar)(?!tiscali.co.uk)(?!yahoo.com.mx)(?!voila.fr)(?!gmx.net)(?!mail.com)(?!planet.nl)(?!tin.it)(?!live.it)(?!ntlworld.com)(?!arcor.de)(?!yahoo.co.id)(?!frontiernet.net)(?!hetnet.nl)(?!live.com.au)(?!yahoo.com.sg)(?!zonnet.nl)(?!club-internet.fr)(?!juno.com)(?!optusnet.com.au)(?!blueyonder.co.uk)(?!bluewin.ch)(?!skynet.be)(?!sympatico.ca)(?!windstream.net)(?!mac.com)(?!centurytel.net)(?!chello.nl)(?!live.ca)(?!aim.com)(?!bigpond.net.au)([\w-]+\.)+[\w-]{2,4})?$/ // ALERT MESSAGE TO BE SHOWN var emailAlert = 'Please input a valid work email address (NOT Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.)' // VALIDATion $('input[type=submit]').click(function() { $("input[type=email]").each(function() { var email = $(this).val().toLowerCase(); if (emailList.test(email)) { (this).setCustomValidity(''); } else { (this).setCustomValidity(emailAlert); } }) }); // PREVENTS ALERT FROM APPEARING WITH EACH KEYPRESS $('input[type=email]').on('input', function() { (this).setCustomValidity(''); });