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Gender Discrimination

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My employer passed a rule that no male staff may work with female clients in group homes for the mentally disabled.
However, female staff may work with both male or female clients.
Additionally, if a male staff is around a female client, they must be monitored by a female staff member. Conversely, if female staff are around a male client, no male staff is required to monitor them.
To date, only one MALE client has been sexually molested and that was by a FEMALE staff!
The rule of the company is illogical and discriminatory. It affects the terms and conditions of employment for all male staff and creates disparate impact. There is apparently no justification for the rule except perhaps a "belief" that all male staff are potential sexual predators, molesters and abusers.
Conversely, one would have to assume the employer "believes" female staff are of impeccable character, paragons of virtue and beyond reproach i.e. not capable of such heinous acts. However, experience has shown that clearly to not be the case!
Considering the facts, wouldn't the employer have to ban female staff from working with male clients if, as they say, they simply "want to protect the clients?"
As things currently stand, the "policy" only "protects" female clients from horrible male staff! Male clients aren't protected at all!
How can such discrimination be considered permissable? It would seem to me to violate the law against discriminating against people simply based on their gender.
The rule of the company is illogical, absurd and retarded and simply based on prejudiced beliefs.
The EEOC has accepted the charge and will investigate.
What can I expect? Anyone have any experience with such matters?
Additionally, I was suspended over an ALLEGATION of cursing in front of a client. The allegation was proven false by the State Investigator. Conversely, a FEMALE staff member was actually heard to curse very loudly and at length in front of both a client, other staff members and even called the office and cursed on the phone to the Director! Members of the public also heard the cursing and called the company to complain!
Yet, she was not suspended and there was no investigation or disciplinary action of any kind taken. Yet, a male staff is suspended merely based on an allegation of cursing!
It seems significant to me that the company is managed exclusively by females. No position of authority is occupied by a male.
Please tell me this is discrimination and not the kind that's permitted!




I am in the same line of work but female. The women at our facility have been questioning the same policy for year. We feel it's discrimination that the women are required to toliet and shower all the women and the men, yet are male co-workers are required (allowed) to toliet the male clients.

Somebody out there, find us an answer.


I would really love to get an answer to this question.



Good question. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act provides that employers cannot discriminate against any individual with respect to terms and conditions of employment (among other things) because of such individual's sex (or race, color, religion or national origin). However, the law also allows differing treatment of women and men when such treatment is "reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business or enterprise." Is such a difference in the group home setting "reasonably necessary"? I do not know. There probably have been some cases addressing similar issues, but I have not researched them.
It is difficult to know what the EEOC will do. Most EEOC regional offices are overwhelmed, and they simply do not have the resources to fully investigate each claim. However, they tend to do a good job when a case really piques their interest.
The fact that you were suspended for an allegation of cursing while a female staff member was not for actually cursing may or may not be improper. It depends on the circumstances, whether the decision-makers were the same for both incidents, the time and location of the alleged cursing, etc.


RW and caregiver:

I’m a certified mediator for the United States Postal Service, to resolve EEO cases. As JBK has pointed out, most EEOC offices are overwhelmed. It takes them months, sometimes even years, to investigate discrimination cases. In the meantime, the employee – and the employer - find themselves in a situation become uneasy, at best.

That is the reason why EEOC is suggesting mediation as a valid alternative to the formal process. The way it works is simple. A neutral, trained mediator will sit down with you and your employer, together and separately. S/he will assist both of you in evaluating all the options available for reaching a mutually acceptable agreement: something you and the employer can both live with. Mediation takes only a few hours (from 2 to 6, depending on each case). There are at least two good reasons why mediation makes sense. First, it is non-adversarial. The all idea of mediation is to stop and resolve an EEO case; not to fight, or place blame. Consequently, the relation employee-employer after mediation often even improves, instead of deteriorating. If you wish to take your lawyer with you to mediate, that’s fine, but you don’t need to. Second, mediation is one of those cases where you have everything to gain, but nothing to lose. If it works out, great. Otherwise, you still have right to the formal, legal EEOC process, as you have now. In that case, whatever you – and the employer – have said during mediation doesn’t matter, because the all mediation process is confidential.

Whether you think mediation makes sense in your cases, it’s for you to decide. But at least it is an option you may use, if you want to. For further information about mediation, ask your EEOC office. There is a lot of material available, in print and on the Internet.

Hope this information will help you.

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