Do you feel you’ve been the victim of sex/gender discrimination at Amazon?
If so, you’re not alone.
According to Pew Research Center,
About four-in-ten working women (42%) in the United States say they have faced discrimination on the job because of their gender. They report a broad array of personal experiences, ranging from earning less than male counterparts for doing the same job to being passed over for important assignments…
Sex discrimination is especially prevalent in high-tech companies like Amazon.
To help you decide whether to make a legal claim against Amazon, here are some things you should know.
According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which deals with discrimination in the workplace,
Sex discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person’s sex, including the person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy.
(You might want to also read our articles on discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy.)
Both federal and state laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in relation to:
Equal Rights Advocates provides some examples of treatment that could violate laws against gender discrimination:
Sexual harassment is a form of sex-based discrimination and is illegal.
As the EEOC notes, sexual harassment can include:
However, harassment based on sex/gender does not have to be of a sexual nature. It’s illegal to harass a woman by making offensive remarks about her sex/gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy.
It’s also illegal to harass a woman by making insulting and offensive comments about women in general.
Although most cases of sexual harassment involve men harassing women, both the victim and the harasser may be of any gender, and the same sex or different sexes.
A harasser is commonly the victim’s boss, but could also be a co-worker, a subordinate, a colleague, or even an outsider such as a customer, client, or vendor.
A single offensive “joke” or remark probably isn’t enough to create a hostile work environment under the law.
As the EEOC explains,
Although the law doesn’t prohibit minor teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not frequent or serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).
Even when an employment practice or policy applies to everyone, regardless of sex, it can be illegal if it has a negative impact on the employment of people of a certain sex and isn’t job-related or important to the operation of a business.
An example of disparate impact is hiring criteria that tend to screen out women, such as a height requirement that isn’t really necessary for a person to do the job.
The Guardian recently reported how Cindy Warner, a tech executive with 30 years of experience, sued Amazon Web Services (AWS) about a year after joining the company, saying she had faced pay discrimination, sexism, and homophobia.
The Washington Post reported that five women sued Amazon, accusing the company of both gender and race discrimination. One plaintiff
who works as a shift manager at an Amazon facility in Harleysville, Pa., alleged a manager compared her to an adult-film star and accused her supervisor of asking her to spend time with him outside work.
She said she was demoted after rebuffing the manager.
As IMD reported,
Amazon decided to shut down its experimental artificial intelligence (AI) recruiting tool after discovering it discriminated against women. The company created the tool to trawl the web and spot potential candidates, rating them from one to five stars. But the algorithm learned to systematically downgrade women’s CV’s for technical jobs such as software developer.
As Vanity Fair reported, Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios, stepped down after he was accused of sexual harassment. Producer Isa Hackett said that when she and Price were in San Diego to promote her show The Man in the High Castle at Comic-Con, he propositioned her during a cab ride and later made an obscene suggestion to her at a company party.
If you’re dealing with gender discrimination at Amazon, call attorney Cj Rosenbaum at 212-256-1109, text 212-256-8492, or email You can also submit a summary of your situation online.
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