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. I have experienced sex discrimination and I need an attorney: what do I do?
Legal Meaning of Sex Discrimination
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:
- Sex stereotyping
- Condition of employment
- Job classification
- 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.