Men sue Yahoo, claim gender discrimination

Many Cranston residents may have certain preconceived notions about the legal system. While these preconceived notions may turn out to be true in some instances, the law may apply differently than one thinks in other cases.

This is often the case when it comes to workplace discrimination. For instance, many individuals may have a preconceived view that gender discrimination and related claims may not be brought by men. In reality, however, about 10 to 15 percent of the charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission involve claims of sex discrimination by a male.

These types of claims may vary widely. For example, some cases involve males in roles that challenge gender stereotypes, as is the case with men who serve as caregivers. Sexual harassment claims may also be alleged by men against women.

In one recent example, two men filed suit against Internet search company Yahoo alleging they lost their jobs because they were discriminated against. The cases involve Yahoo's performance review system, through which employees are evaluated on a periodic basis. The plaintiffs claim the process was unfair and could be used to discriminate against them because managers who had personal biases could assign numbers that would be used against the men. Specifically, they allege that higher review scores were rejected by higher-ranking individuals, without explanation, because of gender.

It remains to be seen how the lawsuits will be resolved. But the cases are an important reminder that employee rights may be protected under the law even if it cuts against general stereotypes of who may bring employment discrimination claims. Accordingly, employees who have been discriminated against should understand whether they have a valid claim under the law to hold their employer accountable.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Yahoo faces gender discrimination lawsuits from two men," Wendy Lee, Oct. 17, 2016

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