What to Do When You’ve Experienced Sex Discrimination

Equal employment opportunity extends to all people groups to prevent discrimination based upon race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and more. But what happens when you feel like you have experienced a violation of that. When an employer treats an employee or applicant in a less favorable light or differently due to their gender or sex, they are committing unlawful sex discrimination. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment resulting from offensive remarks, unwelcome sexual advances or sexual favors requests. When these impact the “terms or conditions of employment,” the employer is in violation. It is against federal and state laws to be sexually discriminated against.

Examples of Sex Discrimination

Sex discrimination can happen anywhere from the job ad to the firing of an employee and anywhere in between. Some places that you can experience sex discrimination in the workplace or related to a potential job include:

  • Firing
  • Hiring
  • Pay
  • Benefits
  • Sex stereotyping
  • Condition of employment
  • Job classification
  • Promotion
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual harassment

Steps to Take When Facing Sex Discrimination

Once you’ve determined that you have been discriminated against due to your sex or gender, you should document what happened. Include details such as where it happened, what specifically happened, who was involved and how it affected you. If there were witnesses, ask them to write down what they saw or heard. The next step is to contact an attorney that handles workplace discrimination. Take in your documentation during your consultation. Report the incident or incidents to your employer in writing to keep a paper trail. If a union member, file a formal complaint with the union. In every state, you have the right to review and copy your personnel file. In some states, you can have a copy of all signed employment-related documents. Filing discrimination complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the state’s labor board or fair employment agency.

What to Do After Complaints Are Filed

In most cases, you cannot sue the company until after formal charges are filed with the state or federal agency. Speaking with an attorney can help you decide if filing a lawsuit is in your best interests. Damages awarded could provide relief or remedies such as being rehired for your job, forcing the employer to change its employment practices and obtaining money damages. Sex discrimination is against the law and so is retaliation for reporting it. If you have been a victim of sex discrimination in any form, speak to an attorney to plan your next steps.

Sex Discrimination in the Workplace

If you think you need an attorney because of sex discrimination, it is important to find a reputable attorney that is experienced with successfully defending the rights of sexual discrimination victims in your state. Sex discrimination (also referred to as sex-based discrimination) is illegal. As defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “Sex discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person’s sex.” It is illegal to discriminate against an individual because of their gender identity, including transgender status, or because of sexual oriention, and doing so is against the law as stated in Title VII.

The law forbids discrimination for all aspects of employment, including pre-employment activities such as selecting interview applicants, interviews, hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, firing benefits, bonuses, and any other terms or conditions of employment.

If you’ve experienced sex discrimination in the workplace, discussing your situation with an attorney who is experienced with successfully defending the rights of victims of sex discrimination in your area, is often a good person to start with when you think you you need an attorney.

Sex Discrimination Harassment

It is also unlawful to harass an individual in the workplace based on their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. As explained by the EEOC, harassment, including sexual harassment or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical harassment of a sexual nature, is illegal. In general, any sort of harassment in the workplace is considered illegal.

Sex-discrimination harassment can be non-sexual in nature while including things such as offensive remarks about a person’s sex. An example of this is that it can be considered harassment to make offensive remarks about women in general even if the comments are not sexual in nature.

Finding an Attorney

If you are looking for an attorney that can help you with your sex discrimination problems, there are many different ways to go about looking for one that will be suited to your particular needs. Chances are that you will be using the internet for some if not all of your search. The following are methods that people have used when they were looking for an attorney to help them with their sex discrimination cases:

Word of Mouth

Trusted friends, family members, co-workers, community leaders and other people you know, can be valuable resources when you are looking for a sex discrimination attorney who is especially suited to your needs.

Legal Aid

Legal aid organizations often offer low and/or no cost legal help to those who qualify for their particular programs.

Public Library

Public libraries can be a wealth of information and resources, including the help of  librarians and that they have internet access for the public.

Bar Associations

State and other bar associations can often provide people with contact information for attorneys that are qualified and in your area.

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