Today First Lt. Shaye Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest became the first two women to graduate from the Army’s Ranger School, having completed a grueling nine-week training program along with 94 men. Their extraordinary determination and grit helped them burst through a longstanding gender-based barrier. While it remains unclear whether the military will permit Haver and Griest to engage in full active combat duty, that kind of restriction would not be permitted in the private or public workplace (not involving military combat).
Federal, New York State and New York City laws all prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. If a woman passes all the prerequisite courses, she cannot be denied employment or any benefit of employment (raises, promotions, bonuses, etc.) because of her sex.
It wasn’t that long ago that employers claimed women couldn’t serve as firefighters, police officers, doctors, pilots, construction workers and in a whole host of positions deemed “non-traditional” employment for women. Much progress has been made, but there remain many barriers to be broken down.
If you believe you have all the qualifications for a job and you have been denied the position because of your sex, you should seek prompt legal advice. The federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination generally require that, if you have a New York-based claim, you must take action within 300 days by filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,. The New York State and New York City anti-discrimination laws generally give you one year to file a charge with the appropriate agency or three years to bring a case in court. Do not self-diagnose; these matters are complicated and the timeframes may vary with the type of employer