university and career opportunities

Hi,
At UCSD there is a group of professors in my department who have an
advocacy group in which the give women and only women, particularly women
who have joined the advocacy group career/research/funding opportunities.
They also regularly pressure the department to exclude men from the hiring
pool, because they want more women, claiming that women find it difficult to be
around people who don’t look like them. Recently they openly admitted to
preferentially hiring three women based on their gender. What does the law say
about this?

Thanks.

Asked on September 9, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

This is completely illegal. Federal law prohibits making employment decisions based on gender or treating people different in employment because of their sex. There is no doubt but that "openly admitt[ing]  to preferentially hiring 3 women based on their gender" is illegal; and it would also be illegal to retaliate against you or anyone else who file a complaint, either internally or to the EEOC, about this.
(Techically, there are a very few, completely obvious, jobs where you may have a hiring preference based on sex. For example, you could choose to hire only men to be the men's room attendents in high-end restaurants or hotels; only women to work in women's locker rooms at a health club; an Ob/Gyn office could ensure that at least one nurse or health aide is female if the doctor is male, so that a women who wanted a female present during an exam could have one, etc. But these positions are very much the exception.)


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