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Leading discrimination lawyer issues guide to “Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Tips for Combatting Promotion Discrimination”

Despite significant gains made by women and minorities across corporate America, a stubborn glass ceiling prevents them from advancing to the most powerful and highest paying positions in the workplace.  For example, a recent study found that in 2017, the number of female Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) among Fortune 500 companies dwindled to just 5.4% (27 out of 500).

And the recent sex harassment scandals underscore how the dearth of women in the most senior/powerful positions in many of these companies (the glass ceiling) helps perpetuate a workplace culture in which sexual harassment is allowed to fester.

To break through the glass ceiling in the workplace, it is critical to know your rights and how to overcome the defenses that employers typically rely upon to defend glass ceiling discrimination cases. 

Cracking the glass ceiling requires that you know your rights and options

The glass ceiling is, unfortunately, an all too common experience for female and minority employees.   If you have been denied a promotion based on your gender, race, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristic, is critical to know your rights and formulate an effective strategy to combat glass ceiling discrimination.

For example, deadlines for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about the promotion denial apply, and failing to meet those deadlines could waive a claim.  And your company may have policies about how to internally report harassment and discrimination.  Finally, there are many federal, state, and local laws that may offer additional remedies.

“Plain English” answers to common questions about promotion discrimination

The employment discrimination attorneys at Zuckerman Law recently published a guide that lays out answers to common questions asked by employees who hit the glass ceiling at work.

The guide provides “plain English” answers to common questions about promotion discrimination, including:

  • What steps can I take to combat glass ceiling discrimination?

  • How do I prove I suffered glass ceiling discrimination?

  • Who is considered a similarly situated employee?

  • How do I show I’m better (or at least as) qualified as the selected candidate?

  • Remedies for glass ceiling discrimination

  • Class action versus individual cases in the glass ceiling context

  • What should I do if I’m retaliated against for complaining about glass ceiling discrimination?

  • What is an EEOC discrimination charge and what deadlines apply to filing one?

  • Arbitration and why it matters if you signed an arbitration agreement

  • Partners and executives: are they employees or employers?

© 2020 Zuckerman LawNational Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 50



About this Author

Eric Bachman, Discrimination Attorney, Zuckerman Law Firm
Of Counsel

Eric Bachman is Chair of the Discrimination and Retaliation practices at Zuckerman Law and has served in senior positions at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.  Bachman’s wins include a $100 million settlement in a disparate impact Title VII class action, a record-setting Whistleblower Protection Act settlement at OSC, and a $16 million class action settlement against a major grocery chain.  Bachman holds extensive litigation experience, including trials in federal and state courts, and has also set important...

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