Gender Discrimination at Small Business

Gender Discrimination at Small Business

HR for your Small Business

On June 12th, Gender Discrimination at Small Business was in the news. the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decided in the case of Pittman v. Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. 

In this case Mary Ann Pittman claimed she was passed over for a promotion because she was a woman.  The courts rejected that claim.

 Mary Ann Pittman had held various roles in the Johnson and Johnson subsidiary since 1983 and sued for gender discrimination under Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after she was denied a promotion to VP of Product Management.

JJVC said that they simply did not offer her the position because she did not have the necessary skills and experience.

They stated that another candidate was more qualified for the position.

In this case, the employer had written criteria listed for the job – in the form of a job description – that Pittman did not meet.

This helped the company win the case.

In order to avoid a charge of Gender Discrimination at Small Business, make sure that your company has complete and up-to-date job descriptions for every role with written criteria tied to business needs. 

Other ways to prevent accusations of discrimination in hiring and promotions are to maintain diverse hiring panels and standardize interview questions.

Employers should also remember that the definition of sex-based discrimination under Title 7 was recently expanded by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled that the protected category of “sex” in Title 7 also includes sexual orientation and gender identity, including as always gender discrimination. 

Check out for additional information regarding how this topic that we reviewed today may affect your small growing business and how we manage them.

As a small business owner, we know you have enough to worry about!

Also, you can take our free HR Fitness Test to see if you are covered by clicking HERE!