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Running Head: Gender Discrimination 1

Gender Discrimination: A Review of the Literature

Fernando Soto
University of Texas at El Paso

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Gender Discrimination: A Review of the Literature
Gender Discrimination has been a controversy since the existence of mankind. Its a
confrontation that has been between the two genders, men and women. One of many reasons
for this conflict to be affecting our society is inequality. Women have rapidly been improving in
society. They have been proving their potential in many ways, provoking amazement in the
world. Women have been claiming their rights to be equal and accepted in society. Not only
women but also men have changed through time. Women want to work; they want to be
something else other than the cook in the house, a housekeeper, a simple mom. Women want
to make a difference; they want to be independent, they want admiration and respect. Women
want their rights. Some men think they can do other things than to work every day. On these
days some men are housekeepers. It seems that the functions that where use to be between
genders has been switched causing people to discriminate one another.
Dont people have the right to do what they want, what makes brings them joy? Theres
no freedom when theres discrimination. There are laws for gender discrimination. There are
some serious consequences for those who discriminate someone because of his or her gender.
When it comes to gender discrimination there are many effects such as economically. In order
to learn more about gender discrimination and its effects, some questions need to be
1. What is the federal policy on gender discrimination?
2. What ere the current effects on gender discrimination in the workplace?
3. What are the economic effects of gender discrimination?
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4. What is being done to eliminate gender discrimination?
The following review on literature will: discuss what the federal policy is, what the effects of
gender discrimination at the workplace are referring to the law and rights, the economic effects
for both women and men, what is being done on these days to eliminate this controversy and
what can be done in the future.
What is the federal policy on gender discrimination?
Gender Discrimination is threating a person unfairly because of that persons sex or sex
preference. People who are lesbians, gays, or even bisexual are included. This is also known as
gender identity discrimination. (EEOC, n.d.). There are policies for any case of gender
discrimination. Some serious systems of laws are applied to any person who discriminate
someone based on their gender. People face some serious measurements when they dont
treat others with equal rights. The Bible says, There is neither Kew nor Greek, there is neither
slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28,
NIV). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal law enforcement
agency which concentrates on discrimination taking place at the workplace. EEOC enforces the
following laws:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
The Equal Pay Act of 1963
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
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Sections 102 and 103 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991
Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008
From all those enforced laws by EEOC only three of them will be discussed for gender
discrimination. Those three are Title VII, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the Equal
Pay Act (EPA). The title VII makes it illegal to discriminate someone based on race, color,
religion, origin or sex. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII to make it illegal
to discriminate against a pregnant woman or anything related to childbirth. EPA makes it
illegal to pay different wages to men and women if they perform the equal work at the
workplace. These three laws have in common that its illegal to retaliate against someone
who complained against discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in
an investigation about gender discrimination. (EEOC, n.d.).
A woman cant work if shes about to give birth. It will be discriminating if she gets fired,
violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Its a very inconsiderate and inhuman act. Its
not fair and just if a man or woman gets paid more or less than the other for doing the exact
same amount of work. These three laws are the main federal policies based on gender
discrimination. Anyone who violates these laws can face some serious consequences.
Violating these laws is violating someones rights.
What are the current effects on gender discrimination in the workplace?
According to the EEOC the law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of
employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe
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benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. (EEOC, n.d.). These days there have
been many situations of gender discrimination in the workplace. Many people have been
accusing companies of sex discrimination. A company being charged of gender discrimination
puts it in a bad position and reputation. In 2011, the Supreme Court threw out a class action
lawsuit again Walmart brought by a staggering 1.5 million female employees. It was the largest
sex discrimination lawsuit in U.S. history. (NY dailynews, n.d.). An effect of gender
discrimination in the workplace may be that once that an employer throws a lawsuit on a
company, it can influence others that are being victims of gender discrimination to join them
and take actions against the company making the company to face a huge amount of charges
and problems. The company would face critics.
If a person believes that is being discriminated because of EPA, according to an article by
Lisa Finn, based on a study by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2008, women earn an average of
80% of what men earn, if caught, employers can be sued under provisions of the EPA and may
be required to pay fines and issue back-pay. (Finn, n.d.). According to the,
two class action lawsuits have been filed, one against the Smith Barney division of Citigroup and
the other against Morgan Stanley which were settled for a total of $79 million on behalf of the
women in the classes. (ICI, 2010). In a documentary, the CEO of Walmart says, our policy is
that we pay everyone for every hour, when in the documentary Walmart is facing lawsuits for
violating the Equal Pay Act (EPA). (Krazyjesus, 2012). This documentary of Walmart shows many
lawsuits and critics that Walmart faced for violating these primary three laws about gender
discrimination in the workplace. Could it be more obvious? Its been more than clear than
discrimination at the workplace is taking place in many places on these days. Equality is being
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rejected, opportunities are being denied. Peoples rights are being violated. Its shown in this
documentary a woman talking about how much time she had been working there at Walmart
and the position of manager was denied because she was a woman, and supposedly a woman
wasnt qualified enough or worthy of that position. Not only that but also men as women were
demanded to work extra hours without being paid for the extra time. They were forced to work
extra time with no extra payment in order to keep their jobs. In order to pay their bills and take
care of their family and children people had either to look for other jobs or maintain silence
without complaining. Finally people became to realize that the only way to end with all this
unfairness and injustice they needed to work together and look for help. Protests were being
made, lawsuits became to hit Walmart, employees began to gather and break the silence. They
shared their stories to put them together to show the world what was really happening making
Walmart gain a bad reputation for mistreating their employees and violating their rights by
discriminating them. According to the documentary, Walmart paid 50 million dollars to settle
an action suit in Colorado, while in Texas is estimated that they cheated workers at above to
150 million dollar on unpaid wages. (Krazyjesus, 2012).
Sex discrimination harassment is another type of gender discrimination that takes place
at the workplace. These commonly happens with a high position employee and a low position
employee or an employee and an employer where the one with the more authority takes
advantage of his or her position and uses it to harass the other. This kind of situation may bring
fear to the sexual harassment victim and mental disability. Unfortunately, its a reality. Cases
exist where pregnancy occurs between co-workers because sexual harassment. The
consequences for this is can be unemployment, charges, lawsuits, and even jail.
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What are the economic effects of gender discrimination?
Obviously there are many effects and consequences because of gender discrimination and the
economy takes place as one of these effects. There are two types of economic effects to be
considered in this analysis: economic effects when there is violation of the EPA law and when
there are charges or lawsuits against a company or firm. When the EPA law is violated multiple
things can happen related to the economy. When this law is violated, an employees economy
is decreasing given the fact that the employee is not gaining what its supposed to. When this
happens, the companys or employers economy is increasing given the fact that they are
stealing money from their employees for themselves. According to a questionnaire answered
by Sarah Walker, a supervisor from UTEPs office of Womens Studies, women today still earn
.75 to every mans $1.00. (Questionnaire, 2014). As mentioned before there have been cases
where a managers position has been denied to women. Figure 1 shows that there is a 22.83%
of women who are managers and a 77.17% of men in this subject (see Figure 1):
Figure 1. A pie chart from a survey about men and womens sales force workforce.

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Another economic effect because of gender discrimination is that the companies lose huge
amounts of money when they have to deal with all the charges and lawsuits because of their
violation of equal rights such as EPA or because of discriminating on sex. As mentioned before,
according to the Walmart Documentary, Walmart had to pay 50 million dollars to because of a
lawsuit they were facing in the moment. (Krazyjesus, 2012). An effect related to economy
would be when employees seem in the obligation of quitting their jobs or they are fired
because of gender discrimination at work, they stop being paid creating more debts to pay.
When companies get lawsuits or charges the company then faces critics and bad reputation
making it loss profit, because people wont like to be part of some company that is in a bad
situation or that its treating their employees in a bad way. In a bar graph (see Figure 2) are
shown weekly earning between men and women at the workplace from the years 1980 to
Figure 2. A bar graph discussing the Annual Real Weekly Earnings by Gender.

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It can be concluded from the graph, that since the year 1980 to the year 2008 the
earning between men and women has been a problem. The graph shows women have been
receiving less than men for 28 years now, according to the years in the study made from the
graph. Its shown that through 28 years womens salary has increased more and more, but it
doesnt quite reach the equal as men. Progress in reaching equal pay doesnt mean is not still
violating the EPA. If women are not receiving the fair amount of salary they deserve they are
being discriminating and its a violation of rights.
What is being done to eliminate gender discrimination?
Today many people are taking action to put an end to gender discrimination. Many
organizations are spreading the word to encourage women and men who are being
discriminated in their work or in any other place to take action. For example UTEPs office of
Womens Studies is an academic program, which have a Major and Minor in Womens and
Gender Studies. We also have a Graduate Certificate. While we do have an open-door policy
for all students who need a safe space we were not designed as a resource center. I would
recommend the Counseling Center or the Student Resource Center, both located at the Union,
said Sarah Walker, supervisor from Womens Studies. (Questionnaire, 2014). Programs like this
helps students and professors to join and make a difference. This is a program that has been
around since the 80s. According to Sarah, their Bachelors degree was approved in fall of 2013
and this year will mark the first time anyone has graduated from UTEP with a B.A. in Womens
and Gender Studies. Its amazing how even in colleges groups like this are available to anyone.
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To put end to this controversy is anyone is being a victim of this they should contact a
lawyer immediately to take action. According to Roger Davies law firm, a gender discrimination
victim should go to a lawyer to be advised for their EEOC claim. (Roger Davie, 2014).
Discriminating based on sex is against the law, and attorneys and the law itself is making sure to
put an end to this by any means possible. According to the sex discrimination organization,
because sex discrimination claims are time sensitive, the victim need to move as quickly as
possible after knowing of the discrimination as the victim may have only 180 days to file a
complaint with a government agency (EEOC or state), a step that is required before any Title VII
sex discrimination lawsuit against an employer can be filed. (ICI, 2010). Sarah said that on a
federal level the white house is trying to implement a higher minimum wage and that in a social
level, various activist groups are calling for equal wages. (Questionnaire, 2014).
Sex or gender discrimination is a controversy that seemed to have no end. But on these
days changes are being made. Hope is given. Freedom is being claimed just as justice and
fairness. There many demanding laws about gender discrimination that can put in a bad place
any discriminant. Lawyers are doing their jobs and making justice for all the victims of gender
discrimination. Every day, more equality is being achieved. The day where men and women are
treated with equal rights may be closer than expected.

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Annual Real Weekly Earnings by Gender. (n.d.) Image retrieved from
Cavaliere, V. (2012). Tennessee women file sex discrimination lawsuit against Walmart.
Dailynews. Retrieved from
Finn, L. (n.d.). Female Discrimination in the Workplace. Globalpost. Retrieved from
Holy Bible. NIV. (n.d.). Galatians p. 1351.
ICI. 2010. Sex Discrimination Organization. Retrieved from
Krazyjesus. (2012). Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices. [video file] Retrieved from
Questionnaire. (2014). Creator:Fernando Soto. To: Sarah Walker.
Roger Davie P.C. (2014). Website. Retrieved from
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (n.d.) Retrieved from
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Workforce. (n.d.) Retrieved from