California Glass Ceiling Attorney - $1B recovered

California Glass Ceiling Attorney

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Many workers stay at their jobs for years in order to reach higher levels of seniority or management. However, some women and minorities find that, once they reach a certain level of responsibility or obtain a certain job title, they are no longer considered for any type of advancement.

If this situation sounds familiar, you may be operating under a glass ceiling at work. But what does glass ceiling mean?

This is a form of discrimination and is prohibited under both state and federal laws. A workplace discrimination attorney at Shegerian & Associates can help you overcome this illegal and, oftentimes, invisible barrier at work in order to ensure your rights are thoroughly protected.

What is the Glass Ceiling?

The term “glass ceiling” is used to describe when employer practices or attitudes create unseen barriers for women and minorities that prevent these groups from rising to upper level or management positions. The “glass ceiling” is a political term used to describe limitations placed on an employee’s ability to advance in the workplace based on gender.

Glass ceiling in the workplace most often refers to a form of sex discrimination which cuts women out of management, supervisory or executive roles based on unfair stereotypes and biased assumptions about their abilities. When a female or minority employee advances into mid- or high-level senior positions, the achievement is sometimes referred to as ‘cracking the glass ceiling.’

Types of Glass Ceiling Scenarios and Important Factors

There are a number of glass ceiling examples that could mean an employer is in violation of anti-discrimination laws. Here are a few scenarios:

  • You have repeatedly applied for a promotion without success, as men with fewer qualifications consistently obtain promotions ahead of you.
  • Since the birth of your children, you have consistently been overlooked for pay raises and promotions to senior level positions that often go to more men throughout your company than women.
  • Your pay has been consistently lower than that of your male counterparts which prevents you from advancing up the corporate hierarchy.

Glass ceiling scenarios in the workplace are often caused by a variety of factors that impact how women are viewed in society and treated within the organization. Some of the most common factors that lead to this type of sex discrimination include:

  • Unconscious Bias: Prejudicial assumptions which keep women out of upper-level positions based on stereotypes about a woman’s ability to perform only certain tasks
  • ‘Good Ol’ Boy’ Networks: Groups consisting of men only which do not properly include women as possible candidates for upper level positions
  • Double Standards Due to Family Responsibilities: Experiencing double standards which create barriers to advancement due to the responsibilities of raising a family

Glass Ceiling Is a Form of Discrimination

While companies have a legal responsibility to promote an employee based on qualifications alone, women or minorities may be illegally denied such opportunities on the basis of their sex or identities. In addition to being passed over for a promotion as a qualified employee, some signs of a glass ceiling work environment include:

  • Leaving women out of important meetings
  • Leaving women out of casual meet-ups where relationships are formed
  • Leaving women out of work communications

  • The glass ceiling is an illegal form of employment discrimination and is typically considered a type of sex discrimination. The glass ceiling concept pertains to a barrier preventing individuals from being promoted to managerial and executive level positions within an organization. If an employer is operating with a glass ceiling in place, an employee may have a claim against their employer under Title VII or other state sex discrimination laws.

  • Other types of discrimination covered under glass ceiling can be:

    • Sexual harassment
    • Gender bias
    • Other unconscious biases

    Make sure to consult a discrimination lawyer to help you understand more about the glass ceiling in the workplace.

  • An employee must demonstrate that they have been denied opportunities at work, for example hiring, promotion, or raise, because of their gender, race, or other protected characteristic.

  • The primary law that prohibits glass ceiling is the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity, but other laws that are applicable can be:

    • Equal Pay Act
    • 1964 Civil Rights Act
    • California Department of Fair Employment and Housing

    Other state laws that protect you from glass ceiling discrimination can be provided by your discrimination lawyer upon consultation.

  • Glass ceiling is a unique form of discrimination that encompasses gender implicit bias, typically targeting women and minorities in the workplace. This includes an unseen barrier for these groups to step into the higher corporate ladder. One unique aspect is that a glass ceiling is usually a problem for multiple people within a company.


Proving a Glass Ceiling Case

Since the presence of a glass ceiling is a form of sex discrimination prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the same elements necessary for proving sex discrimination are necessary for a glass ceiling case. Title VII prohibits sex discrimination in all forms of the employment process including hiring, promotions and compensation.

One difficulty that glass ceiling victims may face is that these types of cases can be difficult to prove. In order to prove that this “invisible barrier” is discrimination, an employee must show that she is an employee meeting all requirements of her job duties. She must also show that her employer took adverse action against her, based on her gender, that was not taken against other males on the job.

In addition to these claims, glass ceiling cases may also involve a history of disproportionate hiring or promotion practices that consistently favor men over women.

If You Suspect You are Operating Under a Glass Ceiling

If you suspect you are operating under a glass ceiling at your company, know that you have rights. You may be experiencing illegal sex discrimination that should be addressed with intelligent and trustworthy litigation. For legal assistance and thorough analysis of your glass ceiling issue by a competent attorney, contact Shegerian & Associates today.

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