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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My boss, in a one-on-one meeting with me said "Because you

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My boss, in a one-on-one meeting with me said "Because you are a man, people assume that you are in charge." This was in response to my comment that visitors, who walk into the office looking for assistance, usually look to me for help instead of my other two coworkers who happen to be female. I don't know what to make of this statement, and it bothers me. It isn't my fault that I am a man. Can anyone offer me perspective?
Good afternoon and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do everything I can to answer your question.

I agree that this is a troubling statement because it indicates that your gender is being considered in evaluating your performance, and it is illegal to discriminate or base abdverse employment action on the basis of one's sex.

Although this statement is concerning, it would not in isolation give rise to a legal claim. This is because, although your gender may have been referenced in the context of a reprimand, you have not (as of yet) sustained any sort of quantifiable damage based on the fact you are male. Without actual financial harm (i.e. a demotion, a paycut, or termination), you have no claim, since there is no basis to support a monetary recovery.

Presently, there is also an issue as to provable discriminatory intent. Since you have no witnesses and all that has so far occurred is a passing comment about your gender, you'd have only your word against your employer's that gender was the reason for a demotion or termination, and I can assure you that any employer who decides to take adverse action against you will typically state reasons entirely unrelated to gender for doing so.

The best thing that you can do at this stage if you are concerned about discrimination is to create a paper trail which documents your employer's prejudice. The most obvious way to start this is by writing your employer an email (that way there's record it was sent) voicing your concern about reference to your gender and requesting that not be a consideration when evaluating your performance.

In addition to this, or purely as an alternative if you are not comfortable directly addressing the issue with your employer at this stage, an individual in your circumstance can keep a journal which documents each and every subsequent comment or incident which suggests your gender is being considered in the evaluation of your performance.

This way, in the unlikely event something does happen to your employer and you now have a quantifiable damage which you can link to gender discrimination, you'll have the evidence to actually support your claim.

I hope this provides you with some perspective on the matter. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes and kindest regards.
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