Even with the women’s movement, LGBT rights, and other advances in equality, sex discrimination is still a major problem in many workplaces. The recent #MeToo movement brought a significant number of sex discrimination, harassment, and assault cases at work into the national and worldwide spotlight. Yet many employees still experience discrimination based on sex or gender each and every day in the United States and in Florida.
Sex discrimination laws are complex and provide numerous protections for employees of every sex and gender. The Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 both strictly prohibit workplace discrimination based on sex, which can encompass many acts by employers. Unfortunately, too many victims still experience unlawful discrimination and suffer extensive losses as a result.
If your employer engaged in any type of sex discrimination, you should not hesitate to contact the Dolman Law Group for help. We can advise you on the best course of action for you to hold your employer accountable for their actions and your losses. Please call today at 727-451-6900 or contact us online to learn more about how we may assist you.
Who Is Protected?
When you think of sex discrimination, you may simply consider discrimination against an employee based on his or her biological sex. While this is a major form of sex discrimination, these laws are umbrellas that protect against several other forms of sex-related discrimination as well.
While sex discrimination is most prevalent against women, it is important for male employees to know that they have rights and can also experience discrimination based on sex. Discrimination may also be based on gender roles or stereotypes, such as prejudice against an employee who does not fit the stereotypes traditionally associated with his or her biological sex.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ensure that discrimination based on pregnancy, possible pregnancy, or any condition related to pregnancy is prohibited as sex discrimination. Employers may not inquire about a woman’s current pregnancy or plans to get pregnant, or take any adverse employment action based on a pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition. An employer may not deny a woman of childbearing age, or who is pregnant, the same benefits as provided for other employees.
The newest addition under sex discrimination is protection from discrimination and harassment based on an employee’s actual or perceived sexual orientation. While the FCRA does not provide this protection on the state level, Pinellas County’s own human rights regulations protects employees within the county. Several other counties in Florida do the same on the local level. Title VII also does not expressly provide this protection, though the EEOC and some federal courts have asserted that Title VII should be interpreted to include protections based on an employee’s sexual orientation and gender identity.
Sex Discrimination Comes in Many Forms
Unlawful discrimination can manifest itself in many different ways. It is important to watch for subtle signs of discrimination and be aware of how discrimination may emerge.
Employers may not make any employment decisions based solely on an individual’s sex, pregnancy, or sexual orientation. Such decisions include:
An employer may not also have policies or procedures that treat one sex differently than the other. This includes segregating employees of different sexes, only giving opportunities (such as special projects, management, or other advancement) to one sex, or even having dress codes that unfairly apply to one sex and not the other.
The Equal Pay Act is a federal law that requires employers to pay employees of different sexes the same amount for substantially similar work. Despite this long-standing law, research shows that in 2017, women were paid only 82 percent of what men earned in the same jobs. While wage violations fall under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), this particular provision is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), because it is also a form of sex discrimination.
Sexual harassment is another form of unlawful sex discrimination. Sexual harassment can arise in many different situations and involve many types of conduct. There are two main categories of sexual harassment at work:
- Quid pro quo -T his occurs when a boss or someone with authority makes a sexual advance in exchange for an employment decision. It could involve offering a promotion or raise if you engage in the sexual activity or threatening your job if you refuse.
- Hostile work environment – This type of harassment involves acts or comments that are sexual in nature and are either offensive or sufficiently pervasive to render a work environment hostile.
If you report sex discrimination or harassment to your employer, your employer is prohibited from taking any negative action against you in retaliation. This includes termination, demotion, less desirable transfers, and any other adverse employment actions.
Consult With a Clearwater Sex Discrimination Attorney for Free Today
Sex discrimination has no place in Florida and U.S. workplaces. Each employee who comes forward to report sex discrimination and exercise their legal rights against discrimination takes one step closer to equality in employment. Taking legal action can also provide financial recovery for lost income, mental anguish, and other losses incurred by victims of sex discrimination.
Discrimination cases are not simple matters and employers will fight against liability whenever they can. Not only do employers not want to pay employees or former employees for their losses, news of sex discrimination claims can damage an employer’s business and reputation. For this reason, it is critical that victims of sex discrimination seek help from the right law firm that has extensive experience handling this type of case. If you think you may have experienced sex or gender-based discrimination at work, please do not hesitate to call the Dolman Law Group at 727-451-6900 or contact us online today.