Oakland Gender Discrimination Attorneys

Oakland Gender Discrimination Table of Contents

Gender discrimination remains a significant issue in Oakland workplaces. Despite legal protections and efforts to promote gender equality, disparities persist in hiring, pay, promotion, and overall treatment of workers based on their gender.

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on gender in all aspects of employment. However, despite legal protections for employees, gender discrimination can still manifest in various ways at work.

Gender discrimination is not just limited to traditional workplaces. Remote work has become an attractive option for many workers in California. Some workplaces also offer hybrid options that allow employees to work from home but require them to come into the office on certain days. While there are many benefits to telecommuting, the downside is that employees continue to face gender discrimination while working remotely.

In many cases, remote work arrangements have exacerbated gender inequality and discriminatory employment practices. In 2020, when most workplaces transitioned to telecommuting due to the pandemic, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission received 21,398 gender discrimination complaints.

Erlich Law Firm is dedicated to standing up for employees who have faced gender discrimination in the workplace, whether in a traditional office environment or a remote setting. Our Oakland employment attorneys are available to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

What is Gender Discrimination?

Gender is a protected characteristic under California law, which means it is illegal for employers to treat employees differently based on their gender. The law also provides protections against gender-identity discrimination, including for transgender workers. Gender discrimination is unlawful across all terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, pay, promotions, day-to-day treatment, training, and termination.

Employers also cannot make employment decisions based on gender stereotypes. Subjecting a worker to negative employment actions based on their gender constitutes gender discrimination. Some examples include an employee being:

  • Treated unequally
  • Passed over for promotions
  • Denied fair compensation or raises
  • Forced to quit
  • Harassed or requested for sexual acts
  • Wrongfully fired

Isolated remarks or occasional teasing alone are not technically unlawful. However, such behavior can rise to the level of gender discrimination if it is severe and pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment for a worker.

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Filing a Gender Discrimination Claim

When an employer violates the law by engaging in discriminatory conduct, the worker can file a gender discrimination lawsuit. Both workers and job applicants are protected from gender discrimination under California law.

Gender discrimination is more likely to occur when an employer fails to set transparent workplace policies. Workplaces should establish rules for expected behavior, as well as procedures for workers to report discrimination and other misconduct. The employer should also state how conflicts will be handled.

If you have suffered gender discrimination at work or had your employee rights violated in other ways, an experienced Oakland employment lawyer can help you resolve the matter. Working with an attorney allows you to hold your employer accountable for discriminatory conduct and urge them to change their practices. At Erlich Law Firm, we can help you determine whether you have a gender discrimination claim against your employer.

What Documents Are Needed for a Strong Gender Discrimination Case?

Having thorough documentation is crucial to support your gender discrimination claim and provide evidence of your employer’s discriminatory practices. While the specific documentation needed may vary depending on the circumstances of the case, several common types of evidence like employment records can strengthen a gender discrimination claim. 

Pay stubs and salary history can be valuable for demonstrating pay disparities between male and female employees. Performance evaluations, disciplinary records and promotions may illustrate unequal treatment or opportunities for advancement based on gender. Additionally, job postings can show instances of discriminatory hiring practices. Other evidence that may support your claim include employee handbooks or company policies related to anti-discrimination.

Workers should also hold onto correspondence such as emails, memos or other written communications that contain gender-based discriminatory language, comments or actions directed toward them. Social media posts may also be useful in supporting your claim.

If you report gender discrimination to HR or management, be sure to keep records of documentation related to your complaints. You may also be able to obtain witness statements from coworkers, supervisors or other individuals who have observed gender discrimination in the workplace.

At Erlich Law Firm, we can assess your case and help you gather evidence that will be relevant to your gender discrimination claim. Our Oakland employment lawyers are experienced in helping workers successfully resolve their employment disputes.

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How Gender Discrimination Occurs in Oakland Workplaces

Oakland is home to a variety of industries and employers across different sectors including technology, healthcare, retail and hospitality, port and maritime, education and research, and government and public services. The city’s vibrant economy and strategic location in the San Francisco Bay Area make it an attractive destination for both businesses and workers. Below, we delve into some examples of how workers may experience gender discrimination in Oakland’s top industries.


While Oakland may not be as well-known for its concentration of tech companies as neighboring cities like San Francisco and Silicon Valley, there are still many tech firms with a presence there. Pandora, a leading music streaming service, is headquartered in the city as is the Ask Media Group, an online platform that employs tech professionals. Some other Oakland-based tech employers include Mynd, Rockbot, Square and Mosaic.

In recent years, the tech industry has gained a reputation for its so-called “bro culture” that fosters a toxic work environment characterized by sexism, male dominance and discriminatory practices. In such workplaces, there is often a lack of accountability. Inappropriate behavior or misconduct may go unchecked, leading to a culture of impunity where perpetrators face few consequences for their actions.

Women who work in tech may face gender discrimination in the hiring process, with hiring managers favoring male candidates or assuming that men are better suited for technical roles. Additionally, female employees may experience a lack of opportunities for advancement or exclusion from leadership positions, perpetuating a male-dominated culture within the industry. They may be subjected to derogatory comments or gender-based jokes.

Gender discrimination often goes hand in hand with instances of sexual harassment. If you are a tech employee experiencing misconduct in the workplace, it is important to speak to an Oakland employment lawyer who has experience handling cases that may involve multiple employment violations.


The Oakland area has several large hospitals and healthcare systems, including Kaiser Permanente, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital Oakland. The city’s healthcare sector is a major employer, comprising a workforce of over 35,000 people as of 2021.

Healthcare workers may experience unlawful gender discrimination in various forms in the workplace. Female physicians or nurses may be paid less than their male counterparts for performing the same job duties or holding similar positions. They may also be denied advancement opportunities, such as being passed over for leadership roles in favor of less qualified male colleagues. Additionally, gender discrimination may occur in training and educational opportunities for healthcare workers.

Gender discrimination may also manifest in the assignment of tasks or responsibilities based on gender stereotypes. For example, female healthcare workers may be disproportionately assigned administrative or clerical duties, while male colleagues are given more prominent clinical roles.

Healthcare workers like nurses or administrative staff may experience harassment or a hostile work environment based on their gender. This could include unwanted sexual advances, offensive comments or jokes, or other forms of inappropriate behavior from coworkers, supervisors or patients.

Like other employees, healthcare workers have the right to report workplace discrimination. Retaliating against a worker for speaking up about gender discrimination is unlawful. Retaliation consists of various forms of adverse employment actions designed to discourage employees from speaking up. For example, assigning a worker to a less-desirable shift or cutting their pay.

Retail and Hospitality

Oakland’s retail and hospitality industry comprises employers from large hotel chains to local businesses. Top hotels in the city include Oakland Marriott City Center, Waterfront Hotel and Homewood Suites by Hilton Oakland. These hotels employ workers in various roles, such as guest services, food and beverage, housekeeping, event management, and administration.

Jack London Square is a vibrant entertainment and dining destination in Oakland, featuring restaurants and shops. Businesses within Jack London Square have retail staff, servers, bartenders, and other hospitality professionals. Oakland also has a thriving culinary scene with popular restaurants like Michelin-starred Commis, Homeroom, Champa Garden, Taqueria El Paisa, and Shan Dong. Additionally, Oakland International Airport employs a significant number of workers in airport retail shops, restaurants, bars, and customer service positions.

There are countless ways workers may encounter gender discrimination in the retail and hospitality industry. A store manager may automatically assume that male applicants are better suited for physically demanding tasks, such as stocking shelves or lifting heavy objects, therefore rejecting female job seekers. Employers sometimes enforce different dress codes and appearance standards for female employees compared to their male counterparts. For example, a hotel chain may require women to wear makeup and high heels while allowing men to dress casually. 

The restaurant industry has a reputation for being male-dominated. Restaurant servers or bartenders may endure frequent sexist jokes, offensive comments, and unwanted sexual advances from coworkers, supervisors, or customers. Despite reporting the harassment to management, employers often fail to take action to address the hostile work environment. Gender discrimination may also be present when an employer assigns workers of a certain gender to higher-paying restaurant shifts or sections with more lucrative tips while relegating other employees to less desirable shifts or sections.

Gender discrimination also commonly occurs on the grounds of wages and job opportunities. For example, a female retail worker may consistently exceed performance targets and demonstrate leadership skills, yet she is repeatedly passed over for promotions in favor of less-qualified male colleagues. This reflects a pattern of bias in promotion decisions based on gender rather than merit. At a hotel, male employees may be consistently paid higher salaries than their female counterparts despite having identical job titles and responsibilities.

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How Does Gender Discrimination Occur in a Remote Workplace?

The COVID-19 pandemic forced workers to shift to remote workplaces. However, many employers have been slow to adapt to the unique issues of gender equality that can arise in remote workplaces. More than 1 in 4 tech workers said they experienced more gender-based harassment while working remotely during the pandemic, according to a survey from Project Include, a nonprofit group.

Remote workplaces involve using a wide range of online tools for collaboration, including messaging apps, video chats, emails, and workflow software. Gender discrimination can occur via such virtual platforms. The informality associated with online communication, as well as the private nature of one-on-one interactions, can fuel discriminatory behavior.

Many female employees report facing microaggressions in their remote workplaces. According to the Pew Research Center, 37 percent of women who work with mostly male coworkers said they were treated as incompetent because of their gender. Microaggressions can take various forms, such as undermining a worker’s professional status, commenting on their emotional state, ignoring their contributions, questioning their expertise, or displaying a general lack of respect.

Remote workers have the same rights and protections they would be entitled to in an in-person work environment. If you have experienced gender discrimination while working remotely, you have the right to hold your employer accountable. Erlich Law Firm can help you determine whether you have grounds for a legal claim to recover compensation.

Call for a Free Case Evaluation

All employees have a right to work in an environment that is free from discrimination, even when working in a remote workplace. If you have faced gender discrimination in your job, Erlich Law Firm is here to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Discuss your situation with an experienced Oakland employment lawyer today.

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My parents were heavily involved in community organizing. Seeing neighbors and friends’ parents struggle in the workplace gave me a sense of purpose that I wanted to help others. Many employees feel helpless and powerless in the workplace, and helping them vindicate their rights is the right thing to do.

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