3 things to consider before suing for gender discrimination

December 23, 2014

If you’re considering suing for gender discrimination, here are some things you should know to help you prepare for what lies ahead.

3 things to consider before suing for gender discrimination

1. The journey is long and can be costly

When you take someone to court for gender discrimination, it can take years to reach a settlement or ruling. This is partly due to the legal system. There are procedures to be followed and paperwork to be filed before your case can even be opened and a court date assigned.

From then on, the course of events will depend on the arguments presented on both sides. Sometimes a settlement can be reached outside the court, but other times it cannot.

You may also prefer to go against a particular settlement if you don’t like the conditions that are offered to you, one example being that you keep your mouth shut.

Also, do consider the amount of money you will need to invest if the case drags on for several years. Though filing a complaint may cost more time than money, suing will cost you both.

If you’re suing a person or company with considerable resources, finding a good lawyer will be imperative and a considerable expense. Another important point to consider is that when the perpetrator has more resources than you do, they may drag on the case in hopes that you’ll tire or run out of money.

2. Make sure you have a case for gender discrimination

Some people confuse abusive treatment or bad working conditions for gender discrimination.

If your employer treats everyone badly regardless of gender, you will not have a case for gender discrimination.

It may be something altogether different, like workplace harassment, so it’s important to understand the bigger picture before moving in a particular direction and wasting time or money.

Talk to somebody you trust to see how an outsider sees the situation. A good resource you can access is a legal advice clinic. A person who works there may be able to help you discern the type of issue you are facing and help you understand the potential courses of action you can take.

3. Start with placing a complaint

Before going to see lawyers, try placing a complaint. If your employer or coworker is the perpetrator, try contacting your human resources department to see what sort of action is possible within the company.

If the problem is larger than yourself and your aggressor, consider approaching HR with the others affected. Being part of a group will give you credibility and may encourage a HR manager to take action more immediately.

If there is a solution that can be arrived at without going to court, this may save you the time and money, as well as improve your situation considerably faster.

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