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Sculptor lawsuit alleges gender discrimination in workplace

A sculptor at General Motors filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the auto-making giant on Jan. 11, 2017. In it, she called her employer "one of the last old boys' clubs". The lawsuit comes more than three years after the company's landmark appointment of a female chief executive officer to its ranks.

In the woman's filing, she details the sexist environment she has been forced to endure at the hands of her male counterparts in GM's clay modeling department. The 38-year-old woman's claim also recounts how male staff members were not only compensated more than her, but were given promotions more easily as well.

She also highlights how male employees have not historically been reprimanded for sexual harassment of their female counterparts either. In fact, in her U.S. District Court filing, she asserts that GM knew these unfair workplace practices go on, but made no attempt to remedy them.

Instead, she alleges she was told by one manager that, if she wanted to advance within the company, she would need to familiarize herself with the book, "Seducing the Boys Club". She also maintains that human resources was of no help either.

Instead, in the filing, she recalls how the representative she spoke to merely acknowledged to her that they were aware of the way things were. They were alleged to have told her there was nothing that could be done about it though.

If proven, the woman's allegations would not come as a shock given Department of Labor Statistics on the state of employment within the automotive industry. In their study in 2015, it noted that 73% of the field was dominated by men and, as a result, they had a difficulty attracting and retaining female talent.

The employee's filing seeks both unspecified compensatory and punitive damages under the Equal Pay Act on the woman's behalf. She also seeks a court injunction against the company to prevent any future discrimination or retaliation against female employees in the sculpting department.

If you or anyone you know has fallen victim to gender discrimination in the workplace, you might be entitled to lost wages and benefits as well as compensation for your pain and suffering. A Michigan sexual harassment attorney can advise you of your rights as it relates to filing a claim.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Female sculptor sues GM: 'There's a sexist environment'," Tresa Baldas, accessed Feb. 07, 2017

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