Workplace conflict and a gender discrimination complaint

Let us say that you were recently hired as the assistant to the strength coach in the athletics department of a small college in New England. You are the first woman to hold that position.

You get along well with the coach, who hired you, but conflict between you and the athletic director developed quickly, and this makes you uncomfortable. Is gender discrimination involved?

Analyzing conflict

You cannot go through your working life without experiencing conflict in some form. There are always going to be personality differences, and certainly differences of opinion. However, if bullying or harassment resulted from such conflicts, it could be discrimination. In your case, the athletic director may believe that women have no place in men's sports, even if the woman in question earned a degree in the kind of work she has been hired to do. He chooses times when no one else is present to criticize you, question your work ethic and make flippant comments about women in general as related to men's sports, but which are obviously directed toward you.

What to do

You are strongly considering lodging a complaint with the human resources department about how the athletic director treats you, but first, it would be a good idea to seek legal guidance. Begin keeping a journal about any interaction you have with the athletic director. Write information down in a notebook, and retain any written notes or documents you receive from the athletic director. Do not put anything about this subject into the computer. In the same vein, only use your personal cellphone to call your attorney; do not use any college-issued devices to do so.

Protecting your rights

If you are experiencing gender discrimination in the workplace, various laws protect your rights.  Contact Attorney Edward Formisano at Formisano & Company today.

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