Employment Lawyers for Women in Tech & Startups
Women in Tech & StartupsWomen in tech frequently deal with office workplaces that are rife with sexism. Tech companies are known to have aggressive, fast-paced cultures that foster innovation, but often overlook employee rights.
Today’s headlines are full of stories about hostile workplaces, sexual harassment and discrimination based on gender, pregnancy, age and race in the tech industry. The “Brogrammer” attitude often spreads throughout startups and goes unchecked while management is busy focusing on product development and venture capital funding. Women get caught in this short-sighted management approach and frequently see their employment rights violated.
When your employer acts unlawfully by terminating you or retaliating against you, or fails to respond to your complaints, then you have options to exercise your employee rights. Our firm has extensive experience in handling employment claims related to sexism in tech. We will review your claims and recommend a strategy to address them.
Employment Law Services
- Discrimination: Gender, Pregnancy, Age, Race & More
- Sexual Harassment
- EEOC Mediation & Litigation
- Non-Compete & Non-Disclosure Agreements
- Unpaid Sales Commissions
- Severance Agreement Negotiation
Sexism in Tech
Successful startups experience fast growth, which results in management scrambling to hire employees without properly training managers in handling employee complaints, discipline and termination. As a result, female tech company employees are often subject to discriminatory decision making.
This creates problems for women anytime they have to discuss a serious employment issue, including pregnancy leave, medically-necessary leave or FMLA leave to care for a parent or child. Instead of complying with employment law, managers often see these life events as an inconvenience to themselves and terminate the employee. If not terminated, women in tech may find their career paths slowing down with fewer promotions and smaller raises – or none at all.
Women comprise a minority of all employees in tech companies. Fewer than 30% of all computing occupation positions are held by women.
Managers frequently treat women in tech differently than men. Sexism in tech has forced many talented and highly-skilled women to leave the field. According to a Harvard Business School study, more than 56% of women leave the technology field by the middle of their career. This is nearly double the attrition rate of men.
Experienced Employment Lawyers for Women
Our firm has a long record of achieving results for women in employment disputes. Our goal is to help you exercise your legal rights so that you may continue to excel in your field. We have effectively represented many highly-skilled employees, sales people and executives from the technology industry. A small sample of cases involving matters that we’ve handled include:
- Pregnancy Discrimination at a Pre-IPO Startup
- Age Discrimination in Software Sales at a Major Corporation
- Severance Negotiation for Female C-level Executive
- Pregnancy Discrimination at a Government Contractor Providing Technology Services
- Gender Discrimination & Breach of Contract at a Software Developer
- Pregnancy Discrimination Settlement & Commission Dispute with Large Software Company
- Unequal Wages & Racial Discrimination at a Multi-National Company
- Numerous Severance Agreement Negotiations with Manufacturers, Financial Institutions, Trade Associations & Unions
Discrimination in Tech
Discrimination is a frequent experience for women in tech. Employees making claims cite gender and pregnancy discrimination as the most common forms of employment discrimination they have faced. Any woman who received lower wages or fewer opportunities for promotions than a male counterpart, or has had her job duties taken over by a more highly-paid man, may have a claim for gender discrimination. Women who have been terminated by their employer may also have a claim.
Acts of pregnancy discrimination include termination, demotion and changes in job duties or pay. Employers may also violate a woman’s right to a workplace accommodation while pregnant. Accommodation laws are the newest form of protection for pregnant women. Generally, an employer must examine all possible means of accommodating a pregnant woman when she requests a job accommodation in order to perform her job duties.
Women, especially when pregnant, are often concerned that contacting a lawyer may further jeopardize their employment. You may contact a lawyer anytime you believe an employer has violated your rights. We will help you determine what type of action will protect you and your career. Should an employer retaliate against you for exercising your rights, then the employer may be subject to additional claims.
Age & Race Discrimination
Age and race discrimination continue to be forms of discrimination that many women face. Inexperienced, untrained managers exercise their authority and decision making based on personal stereotypes of what a tech employee should look like: young, white and male.
Age is a significant issue in the tech industry where many people believe that innovation is the exclusive domain of young employees. Executives and CEOs from some of the world’s largest technology companies are on record saying that they value youth over older, more experienced workers.
You may contact us anytime that you believe an employer has discriminated against you.
Sexual Harassment in Tech
Sexual harassment can take on multiple forms. Severe forms of sexual harassment include one individual requesting sexual favors or romantic attention in exchange for job security, promotions, or raises. Touching, groping and suggestive comments are also forms of sexual harassment that should be addressed after the first occurance.
Harassment in workplaces may come in many other forms. Women have reported pornography being left on their computer screens and men asking groups of women to dance for them in a provocative manner. No woman should accept this behavior as part of the “boy’s club” environment that is pervasive in tech companies.
We are available to examine your sexual harassment claims, as well as any employment retaliation you experienced after reporting your complaints to your employer.
Agreements: Non-Disclosure, Non-Compete & Severance Negotiation
It’s common for new hires to sign NDAs and non-compete agreements at tech companies and startups. We’re available to examine your agreements before you sign them and counsel you on your ability to work after leaving your employer. We will also represent you in disputes involving any release of information covered by an NDA, or your competing activities in a new position that are prohibited by your previous employer’s non-compete agreement.
Severance Agreements & Negotiation
Employers offer severance agreements to employees upon termination. In exchange for you giving up your right to pursue legal claims, you will receive severance pay and benefits for a short period of time.
You should always have an attorney review your severance agreement before signing it. The reason for your termination doesn’t matter. Our employment lawyers will review your employment history for claims that could help you receive more severance pay or benefits. We also will assist you in negotiating changes to the agreement’s terms, as well as changes to your employment record.
Every severance agreement includes a deadline. You must act quickly to contact an attorney to review the document or negotiate on your behalf.