What are my rights if I think that I as terminated from my job because I am a woman?

I was let go today from a company I worked at for 16 months. It’s a construction company and I was the only woman in the department. The president had to tell me the bad news and he said I had a great work ethic, everyone loved me and I did wonderful work. It appears the department manager has a issue with me although he’s never said one word to me about anything since I’ve been there. I think it might be because I’m a woman. Is there anything I can do about this?

Asked on October 2, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

What you describe appears to set out a "prima facie," or essentially "on its face," case of gender-based employment discrimtion the only woman in a male-dominated industry, who was apparently a good worker, being let go. While it's not certain this was discrimination--for example, if the department manager had and can prove he had some non-gender-based issue with you, including simply a strong personality conflict, it would be legal to let you go it is legal to terminate an employee disliked, for non-discriminatory reasons, by a manager--it is, based on what you write, reasonably likely to be discrimination--e.g. without a history of conflict between you and the manager or discriplinary write-ups/poor reviews of you, it's unlikely that he did have some legitimate, non-discriminatory issue with  you. It would be worthwhile for you to pursue this further.
You could either speak with the appropriate agency, which is not the labor department it would be either the federal Equal Employment Oppportunity Commission EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency. Or you may wish to speak with an employment law attorney about bringing a lawsuit.


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