Am being sexually discriminated against?

I performed 2 internships at a refinery. I got excellent comments on both final evaluations and was marked “recommended for hire” both times by my mentor. 2 males interns that came after me got hired within the company. One of them had not even graduated with his undergrad degree yet. I have completed my master’s degree with a 3.9 gpa. They did not do interviews for the position. I tried to call them and they won’t return my phone calls. I was told by my mentor that the main man said my undergrad degree was not sufficient for refinery work, although they gave me two internships. A contractor within the refinery called to tell me he wanted to hire me but someone within the company recommended he not hire me. He said I was most qualified for the job but someone suggested he go with someone other than me.

Asked on August 15, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an employment law attorney about your situation--you may be being discriminated against. The fact that  you had favorable recommendation, seem to have more qualifications, etc. than male candidates who were hired suggests that you may have suffered discrimination. Bear in mind that it is possible there was a non-discriminatory and legal (even if unfair)  reason--for  example, the "main man" could have had a bad encounter with you (maybe you were too informal or not  deferential enough to him) which would support not hiring you (since while you can't be disriminated against because you are a woman, a personal dislike is a legitimate reason to not hire); or these two males are family friends (nepotism is legal); or the "main man" felt that whatever your degree is in, it's inappropriate and valueless to the position;  etc. That said, based on what you write, it's certainly plausible that you suffered illegal discrimiantion, and it's worthwile for  you to discuss and explore that in detail with an employment law attorney. Good luck.


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