Sex and gender discrimination occurs when an employer treats a certain person or group of people unfairly or unfavorably because of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. By law, employers can’t discriminate based on sex or gender – yet people face this type of discrimination every day. Employers often allow personal biases, myths, and other prejudices to impact their treatment of employees and decision-making at work, leading to the employee losing wages, opportunities, and suffering other harms. Anyone who has been discriminated against based on gender identity or sexual orientation has the right to take a stand and bring legal action against the employer. Speak with a compassionate Austin gender discrimination attorney today to learn about available legal options specific to your case.
Sex and Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
We’ve all heard of the “glass ceiling” in regard to discrimination against women in the workplace. Women have always been subjected to discrimination at work, from subtle injustices to outright harassment. It is also possible for a man to be discriminated against because of his sex. Negative employment actions that are based on the employee’s sex, such as job termination, failure to hire, unequal compensation, inequity in job assignments or promotions, unsupported disciplinary actions, may qualify as sex- or gender-related discrimination.
LGBTQ+ Rights in the Workplace
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not explicitly include sexual orientation or gender identity in its list of protected classes, however, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) interprets the statute’s sex discrimination provision as prohibiting discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This is consistent with Supreme Court case law, which says that employment actions motivated by gender stereotyping are unlawful sex discrimination, and other court decisions.
Some examples of LGBTQ+-related workplace claims that EEOC views as unlawful sex discrimination include:
- Firing an employee because he is planning or has made a gender transition.
- Denying an employee equal access to a common restroom corresponding to the employee’s gender identity.
- Harassing an employee because of a gender transition (such as by intentionally failing to use the name and gender pronoun that correspond to the gender identity with which the employee identifies).
- Denying an employee a promotion because of his or her sexual orientation.
- Harassing an employee because of his or her sexual orientation such as by using derogatory terms or making sexually-oriented comments or disparaging remarks.
If your employer based a negative decision on your gender identity or sexual orientation, you may be the victim of workplace discrimination and should speak with a qualified Austin gender discrimination attorney as soon as possible. If you win a discrimination case against your employer, you may receive compensation for lost wages, mental anguish, punitive damages, legal fees, and more.
Sexual harassment can happen to women, men, straight, or LGBTQ+ employees. This can include unwelcome sexual advances or touching, requests for sexual favors, sexual comments, discriminatory comments about your sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, offensive remarks or images, or other forms of harassment. All forms of sexual harassment are serious.
While the law doesn’t make offhand comments, teasing, or an isolated incident (unless it’s severe in nature) illegal, it does prohibit severe or pervasive conduct that results in an offensive or hostile work environment. To understand whether your situation qualifies as illegal discrimination or harassment, contact the Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers for a phone evaluation with an employment lawyer in Austin, TX.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 makes it unlawful for an employer to compensate men and women performing equal work at the same place of business differently. The skills and responsibilities required for the job must be more or less the same to fulfill the equal pay requirement.
If the disparate compensation is the result of merit, seniority, productivity, or other factors, it’s not illegal. If it’s related to the employee’s sex or gender, however, the law prohibits it. Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code states that workplace decisions based on an individual’s gender or gender stereotypes are unlawful. Intentional sex or gender discrimination, as well as policies that unintentionally exclude an individual based on sex or gender, are also prohibited.
Fear of retaliation is the top reason that employees don’t complain about discrimination or harassment. It’s a valid concern, but if you don’t complain, you won’t have a claim if the behavior continues. Instead of suffering until you finally quit the job, call the attorneys at Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers to learn more about what you can do and how your job may be protected.
Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers | Skilled Austin Gender Discrimination Lawyers
You shouldn’t feel uncomfortable or offended in the workplace. If you’re dealing with discrimination at work because of your sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, you have the right to take action to stop it. A good first step is to talk to an experienced employment discrimination lawyer to learn about the law and your options. In order to bring a claim, you must first notify your employer and give them the chance to stop the discrimination and/or harassment. With a competent, caring employment attorney on your side, you don’t have to go it alone.
Don’t let an employment issue leave long-lasting damage to your professional and personal life. Call us at 512-474-7677 for a phone interview and case evaluation.