A former vice president and director of sales at CBS says that the media company is a boys club, and that she was routinely treated differently than male employees. Being treated or compensated different based on one’s gender is prohibited under equal protection laws. Gender discrimination can take many forms and can occur during the hiring process or during the course of employment and may include being paid less based on gender, being denied promotions, or being wrongfully terminated based on gender.
In this case, the female executive says that she and other female employees were often excluded from work-related social events and were often given a heavier work load than their male counterparts.
There are also some contested issues with alleged misconduct on the part of the former executive as well as other employees. According to the lawsuit, the woman was terminated for serious misconduct in late 2011, while a male employee committing similar misdeeds was not reprimanded or fired. Still, she denies having actually engaged in the misconduct in question. If she was in fact treated different in regards to misconduct allegations than a male employee, that fact may strengthen her claim for gender discrimination.
In addition to asking for damages from CBS in the form of lost wages and benefits, the plaintiff in this case is also asking for punitive damages to compensate her for the emotional distress caused by the discrimination. These types of damages are common in discrimination cases, particularly when a part of the discrimination was long term unequal treatment or harassment.
Source: Courthouse News Service, “Female Vice President Says CBS Discriminated,” Joe Harris, Sept. 27, 2012.