A current civil rights lawsuit demonstrates that victims of gender discrimination are not always women. Male employees who worked for Ruby Tuesday have sued the restaurant chain for excluding them from a “lucrative” temporary work assignment in a resort town. According to the lawsuit, which was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the internal job posting for the position “had an explicit and exclusive preference for female applicants.” The plaintiffs, two male employees, are seeking financial damages and back pay under Title VII (the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991). They claim that they were prevented from earning more money because they could not apply for the jobs. Ruby Tuesday ultimately hired seven women to fill all the available openings for the summer job. The discrimination reportedly resulted from “fears about housing employees of both genders together,” according to the EEOC’s website. Men can be victims of discrimination and harassment too A common misconception is that women are the only victims of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. If a male employee claims that he was discriminated against or harassed, he may be faced with laughter, incredulity, or disbelief from his supervisors and coworkers. Yet for many men, discrimination and harassment are serious problems with negative consequences on emotional, financial, and physical levels. Many men do not report instances of gender discrimination and harassment because they are afraid of not being taken seriously. Some also fear that making such a complaint would label them as non-manly. However, if you are male and have been the victim of discrimination or harassment, know that your employer must investigate your complaints, and that you are protected from retaliation if you make a claim. Contact a lawyer at Akin Law Group if you would like to learn more about your rights. You are not alone – more men are filing sexual harassment charges Although the majority of sexual harassment complaints are filed by women, there has been a significant increase in the number of claims filed by men. In 2010, 16.2% of EEOC sexual harassment allegations were made by men; by 2013, the percentage of complaints filed by men had risen to 17.6%. It is unclear whether this rise was a result of increased harassment towards males or heightened levels of reporting it. Nevertheless, many males have successfully filed sexual harassment lawsuits and complaints, obtaining monetary compensation for their distress. Gender stereotypes and discrimination If you are harassed at work because of your nonconformance to gender stereotypes, you may have the grounds to file a lawsuit. Federal law considers discrimination based on sexual stereotypes as a form of sex discrimination. If, for example, your coworkers harass you because you are gay, or they perceive you as being gay, you may have the grounds to sue them for sex discrimination and/or sexual orientation discrimination. Considerations for choosing a lawyer New York State and City laws tend to provide broader protections for employees than federal law. Because of this, you should seek a lawyer knowledgeable in New York’s employment laws. The attorneys at Akin Law Group are experienced, knowledgeable, and discreet, and will handle your employment concerns with the utmost care. Call 212-825-1400 today to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.