Post # 1
I have been working in commercial construction for almost 7 years. I have worked for several companies over that time, and my previous companies have brought me under their wings (usually a specific project manager) to show me the ropes. I have learned a lot, and was running small projects at the company I started with. I relocated out of state, got a great job, but decided to follow my now fiancé out of state again so he could pursue his masters degree. I took the first interview/job that I was offered, with the intention of finding a better job, but that has not happened since the construction industry is slow.
At my 6-month review I told the owner & hiring manager that I would like to get more responsibilities, that I have a lot of experience that I felt I was not using. They said ‘great – go talk to the PMs’ (there are about 12 PMs). I was able to work with one PM for several months, and things looked promising, but as we were waiting for a project to start up, I was never asked to help again. At my 1-year review I also brought up the fact that I would like to move up/get more responsibilities, and nothing came of that.
Fast forward to December. A guy, who is 1 year younger than me, was working in the field, and was brought into the office to help as specific project manager. He is basically doing the same thing as me – but can read plans a little bit better, and that’s really the only difference between the two of us. He has no idea how to do the paperwork that I do, and is constantly asking me for help. He didn’t know about architect “bulletins”, which is a pretty basic thing. In December I was (I think accidentally) emailed a spreadsheet that listed the wages of all of the guys in the field from June & Dec. The guy who is now working in the office was making the same as I am, but was given a $2 raise when he moved into the office.
Last week we were talking and he told me that he told our hiring manager that he would like use his construction management certificate experience and would like to move into the office and learn PM skills – he was moved. This week we were talking and he asked if I had to clock in & out (yes, like on the retail type time machines) like the accounting ladies. I said yes, and asked if he had to, he said no.
I am pissed off. I am not working to my ability and have tried unsuccessfully many times to get more responsibilities and have been denied any form of promotion. With the information listed above, do I have enough to file a gender discrimination claim?
Thanks for your feedback!
Post # 3
Yes – document everything – do you still have that spreadsheet? – and bring it to them with your intentions.
Post # 4
Yes, you do. Keep that e-mail as evidence and file that complaint as soon as possible.
Gah, I can’t believe this is still happening in 2011.
Post # 5
I did keep the spreadsheet and emailed it to my personal account this morning, along with the facts of the past year+. Take the spreadsheet & info to the hiring manager? God, I am so nervous about doing that! Do I talk to them first, or file a complaint with the state first?
Post # 6
Yes, but I would be careful because it sounds like its not a cut and dry situation.
I would maybe try to approach the managers again, and ask for where you can improve, etc.
Also, can you get an “in” with anyone in the company to hear about new projects or assignemnts? If you do, go directly to the managers and specifically ask to be put on that assignment.
I know its tough and I think you are right, but I think continuing to work with the managers might be your best bet.
Post # 7
I don’t think you can file a gender discrimination claim unless you are SURE the only reason is that he is a man and you are not. Maybe he is better with clients or something…who knows. There are a lot of factors that go into promotions that could cause one person to get it over another, even though they seemed to do the same work on the surface. I’d approach the manager again and mention that so-and-so has been promoted (surely it’s obvious without you having seen the spreadsheet?) and and what it’d take for you to do the same things. Maybe you just haven’t approached your manager well enough for him to get it.
I’ve been here for awhile now (all men) and have been trying to get more responsibilities and more work so I can get a promotion. People around me have been promoted. I have never considered that it’s because of my sex, but because the right opportunities just haven’t come up yet for what I do.
Do you have a construction management certificate also?
Talk to them first.
Post # 8
@ms. rice crispy treat: I am not too sure about rules in the states. In Canada you can do either or but the recommend you confront them first to see if it is a problem that can be fixed at the business level, because in Canada you cannot be fired for doing stuff like that but you need to consult they laws in your state before doing anything.
Post # 9
Make sure you download any paperwork/emails/spreadsheets BEFORE you find an attorney. Once the company knows you’re speaking with someone (because for gender discrimination, you have to file an EEOC complaint), then you’ll be watched like a hawk! It can’t hurt to talk to an attorney. Most are willing to give you some free time. Prior to your discussion, however, make sure you have all your paperwork in order. Any emails you have, reviews you’ve had, experience in the filed, resume, etc. An attorney will want to see all this information prior to taking a case.
Post # 10
I would consult a labor attorney first, perferably one that is familiar with gender discrimination. They will help you with the best steps.
Post # 11
Oh yes, also, find an attorney who specializes in employment law. Your regular ole’ family law attorney, criminal lawyer, or contract specialist will not be helpful in this situation. They may be able to “take” your case, but they may not be able to give you the optimal result.
Post # 12
You need to really have your facts together before filing that discrimination claim. Some people make more than others and its not always about gender [altho guys are still higher paid than women] THere is a guy in my office in the same position as me I found out he makes more than me, but i have way better benefits than him so I just kept my mouth shut cos overall I’m going home with more than he is.
Post # 13
@ms. rice crispy treat:Yes, I just filed a discrimination lawsuit against my company on Monday. My attorney filed everything with the EEOC. You should consult an attorney ASAP. The first visit is usually free.
Post # 14
Oh, and I didn’t even mention the religion thing either. They have a lobby copy of the Bible in the lobby, which doesn’t bug me because they don’t make me read it. BUT. After the first “ladies meeting” (there is a PM meeting once a month, and I attend to take notes/type meeting minutes) and they used to have a ladies meeting a few days later, where I would fill in the ladies in the office (all accounting) about what was said in the “men’s meeting”, and then the next month I would bring up what the ladies said at the PM meeting. At the first meeting one of the ladies read some Bible scripture, and asked me to put it in the meeting minutes. She did ask what my religious views were and I told her agnostic, but if she had told me she would read a Bible verse I would have told her no way, it makes me feel uncomfortable.
What really, really bugs me is that one two occasions now they have prayed out loud (the owner lead the prayer) before eating. The first time was when I was out eating with some of the guys after a meeting, and the last was at the office christmas potluck. The owners are Christian (as well as a lot of the office people) and they just assume that everybody is Christian.
I would have quite a while ago, but I haven’t been able to find another job, and I need the money to pay rent and stuff.
Post # 15
I have to agree.
Yes, it’s def known that the construction industry IS male dominant. So it would not surprise me if there is some discrimination.
But we -you included- do not know all the facts. You don’t really know what his exact qualifications are. Maybe he works really well with foreman and contractors. maybe he works really well with the other project managers. Maybe the PMs have praised him a lot to the higher ups. Maybe there are more retail jobs going on right now and he has a lot of experience in retail construction (just for example). That makes a huge difference imo. Not to say you are not just as good of an employee. But if the higher ups are only hearing that this guy is good you can’t blame them for giving that guy a promotion and not you.
And I am not being unsympathetic because I’m a female in architecture a very much male dominant field as well. You should know. So I see the same kind “clues” as you are. Is it a basis for filing a legal suit. I’m not so sure.
I think if I were you I would take a passive approach to and try to be even more forthcoming about asking for responsibility. Do you continually ask and not just at the reviews? Who do you work directly under? Have you tried asking that individual.
I just feel like a legal suit might not be the next best step.
What does your BF/FI think?
Post # 16
Did anyone say you didn’t get the job because you’re a woman? Because it’s not gender-related if they didn’t, so no, you couldn’t file a claim. Or at least, you couldn’t win it. I don’t think it’s right for women to just assume that they’re being treated differently because they’re women, when there could be dozens of other reasons. They can make tons of arguments about why he got the job (he reads plans better, he has more experience here or there, whatever) and you didn’t. They can even just say they like the job you’re doing in your current position and didn’t want to move you. No employer is required to hire anyone for any position over another, it’s completely at their discretion. Unless someone actually makes a gender-discriminatory comment, you’re probably out of luck.
I am sorry you didn’t get the promotion though, I know that must be frustrating. Try talking to them again and maybe they can find something else for you to do.