The term “gender discrimination” often evokes an image of a woman getting passed up for a promotion, having her hours cut after taking maternity leave, being described as too emotional in performance reviews and many other adverse employment actions. While the term may feel like it applies to women, it certainly isn’t an exclusive one under Missouri law or federal laws.

Males are equally protected under the law, and the “Macho Culture” can be discriminatory towards men too. Take for instance the case of one man who was terminated shortly after he took paternity leave available under his employment agreement as well as time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

The man decided to take the paternity and FMLA leave time because his wife suffered from a mental illness after the birth of their second child. He took the time off to help her and to take care of the children during a time of need. His job was there for him when he immediately returned, but four months later he was terminated.

According to the complaint filed in court, the work environment at the company wanted their men to fit the right stereotype. Men were not supposed to be caretakers of the home or the family; they were to “bring home the bacon” so-to-speak.

The lawsuit claimed that he was discriminated against and that the termination after his return was a retaliatory act. The wrongful termination claim was never heard in a court of law, because the parties chose to enter into a confidential settlement.

Source: The American Lawyer, “Dechert and Former Associate Settle ‘Macho Culture’ Retaliation Case,” Sheri Qualters, Feb. 11, 2013

Think you have been wrongfully terminated in Kansas or Missouri? Our law firm represents individuals who have been fired because of a protected status, and our website provides more information.