Lawrence N. Lavigne, Esq., L.L.C.
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Workplace discrimination still a major problem for women

For many New Jersey women in the workplace, the impact of gender discrimination and sexual harassment continues to be significant. The #MeToo movement has drawn attention to systematic discrimination against women in many industries and highlighted the fact that while progress has been made over the years, there are still significant problems with which to contend. Public calls for sex and gender equality have become prominent and well-accepted, yet women in the workplace continue to face barriers to advancement as well as unwanted sexual attention.

One 2018 poll showed that experiences of workplace discrimination on the basis of gender had not changed very much since 1999, at least in terms of basic numbers. However, there were also improvements shown in the poll. Nearly half of the respondents said that their salaries were higher than their husbands, a significant difference from the 1999 results. In addition, male-dominated industries have become less dominated; there has been a major increase in the number of women working in IT, trucking, physics and STEM fields. However, serious problems were also revealed in the survey results.

Nearly half of the respondents said that women aren't treated equally in the workplace by either men or women. Respondents reported that even fellow women showed preferential treatment to male employees. In addition, half of the participants said that they had a personal experience of gender discrimination, sexual harassment or unwanted advances at work.

While workplace discrimination may be a common experience for many women on the job, it is against the law. However, many women may hesitate to speak up for fear of retaliation or the loss of their jobs. People who have experienced gender discrimination or sexual harassment may consult with an employment lawyer about the steps that they can take to protect their rights and seek justice.

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