Sex discrimination at work is illegal. There are several laws prohibiting sex discrimination at work, including Title VII and the Equal Pay Act of 1963, federal laws, as well as the Fair Employment and Housing Act, a California law.
However, the state and federal laws outlawing sex discrimination at work don’t cover all employers. Only employers with 15 or more employees are covered by Title VII, and almost all employers are covered by the Equal Pay Act. Under California law, employers only need to have five employees to be covered by the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Under those federal and state laws, it is illegal to discriminate because of a person’s sex in any aspect of employment. This can include hiring and firing, pay, assignments, testing, recruitment, transfers, disability leave, promotions, benefits, layoffs, or other terms or conditions of employment.
Although sex discrimination in the workplace is not uncommon, not all conduct which appears to be based on sex is illegal. For example, if a delivery company that is looking for a strong worker to move heavy packages and that company chooses a physically strong man over a petite woman, that is not illegal. Strength is a required part of the job. However, if the company chose a man over a woman because they wanted a male employee, and the two applicants were both physically strong, the employer may be guilty of sex discrimination.
Some people think that sex discrimination at work doesn’t occur anymore in today’s society. However, a recent study of workplace equality showed that in 2011, women working full-time were paid on average only 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. African American women and Latina women made even less when compared with white men.
Women also face sexual harassment in the workplace in addition to making less money than male employees. Women can also face discrimination as a result of pregnancy and maternity leave. The sexual discrimination can be especially prevalent in fields that have been dominated by men in the past.
There are many examples of sexual discrimination in the workplace. In fact, the EEOC, the federal agency in charge of equal employment, receives thousands of complaints each year based on sexual discrimination at work.
Although most people think that only women can be discriminated against in the workplace, men can also be the victims of sexual discrimination. Victims of sexual discrimination at work can be entitled to many remedies, including lost pay and compensation for lost benefits.
At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that no one should be discriminated against at work because of his or her sex. If you’ve been discriminated against, call her at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000. She is eager to help victims of discrimination. If you are in the Oakland or San Francisco area, call her today.