Facts ABOUT sex discrimination in employment
Generally, sex discrimination
involves treating someone unfavorably because of their sex (gender).
It may also involve treating someone less favorably because of
their connection with an organization or group that is generally
associated with people of a certain sex, i.e., females that are members
of the National Organization of Women or a sorority, or, males that are
members of fraternities or men only lodges.
does not have to be of a sexual nature and can include offensive remarks
about a person’s sex. For
example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive remarks
about women in general, like “the place for a woman is in the kitchen,
barefoot and pregnant”; or, “women are not as smart as men and should
not be in positions of management or power”.
is a form of sex discrimination that includes unwelcome sexual advances,
requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a
sexual nature. Both victim
and the harasser can be either gender (male or female).
The law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments,
or isolated incidents that are not very serious.
However, sexual harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or
severe that it creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work
environment; or, when it explicitly or implicitly affects an
individual’s employment, or unreasonably interferes with an individual’s
Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the
victim and harasser can be the same sex.
The harasser can be the victim’s immediate superior or another
superior in the company, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee
of the company, such as a client or a vendor.
The victim should inform
the harasser directly that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop, and
should use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system
is a form of sex discrimination that involves treating a woman
unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition
related to pregnancy or childbirth.
For purposes of employment discrimination law, pregnancy is
considered a temporary disability, and must be treated as any other
temporary disability. If a
woman is temporarily unable to perform her job due to a medical
condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, she must be treated the
same as any other temporarily disabled employee.
An employer may not single out pregnancy-related conditions for
special procedures to determine an employee’s ability to work.