Gender discrimination is illegal in the workplace. Women and men must get the same opportunities and the same treatment. This applies to all aspects of work, from hiring to promotions to raises and much more.
Does it also apply to workers’ compensation? While it intuitively feels like it should, there have been some famous cases where women felt they were discriminated against.
For instance, one woman spent 17 years working with a computer. This led to carpal tunnel syndrome, as she started to have both numbness and pain in her wrists and her hands. She decided to seek out workers’ comp, and it was noted that her job on the computer caused her physical issues. So far, so good.
That’s when she found out that a man with the same exact symptoms as she had would get 20 percent more than her in permanent disability benefits.
The reasoning was that she had “multiple risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome.” Two of the main risk factors were her age and the fact that she was a woman. Both things make the disorder more likely, so these risk factors allowed her payouts to be lowered. Essentially, on the grounds that she was a woman, she got paid less.
This famous case started a class-action lawsuit, and it serves as a distinct warning to people all over the United States: When applying for workers’ compensation, be very careful to look into all aspects of the case so that you fully understand your rights. The above is just one example of many ways your rights could be violated. If you believe that they have been, make sure you know what legal options you have.