Is Sex Discrimination Different From Gender Discrimination?
The terms “gender” and “sex” are sometimes used interchangeably. Still, fundamental distinctions must be made, particularly when it comes to companies avoiding legal consequences for gender discrimination or sexual harassment. Although there are some overlap issues between sexual harassment and gender discrimination, they are different things. Check out this website to learn more about sexual harassment in the workplace.
What Is Gender-Based vs. Sex-Based Discrimination?
According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sex-based discrimination occurs when someone (for example, an employer or manager) treats another (for example, an employee or an applicant) negatively because of that person’s sex. Discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, or pregnancy is referred to as sex discrimination. Workplace sex discrimination is unlawful in every state. Gender discrimination is one form of sex discrimination. Discrimination can take place in any workplace scenario, such as:
- Hiring and the application process
- Employment terms and conditions
- Firing and layoffs
- Fringe benefits
- Job assignments
It is also important to note that discrimination does not exist solely between a supervisor and a direct report. Supervisors, coworkers, personnel from other departments or sections, and clients and customers may be involved. Additionally, even though a company’s practices and policies apply to everyone, they may be intrinsically discriminatory.
Sex-based discrimination and harassment
Discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI) can occur in any aspect of work. Moreover, SOGI discrimination is inextricably linked to SOGI harassment, which is also prohibited. Indeed, it is not rare for discrimination suits to include sex or gender-based harassment.
SOGI harassment can take the form of:
- Making derogatory remarks regarding someone’s sexual orientation
- Inappropriate jokes about someone’s sexual orientation
- Discriminatory comments about someone’s transgender status
The EEOC defines harassment as illegal when it produces a hostile work environment or results in an unfair work decision. This can refer to when harassment causes someone to be dismissed, demoted, or denied a position.
Overlap between gender discrimination and sexual harassment
There are situations when gender discrimination and sexual harassment coexist or overlap significantly. A typical example is when just one gender is regularly promoted, except when someone has sexual relations to achieve the same promotion level. That scenario would include gender discrimination and sexual harassment in exchange for a favor.
Get legal help today.
Sometimes sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace can be very obvious, but sometimes it can be confusing to figure out what to do. An experienced sexual harassment attorney can guide you and give you legal advice, so schedule a consultation today.
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