Gender discrimination is any action taken by an employer that
unfairly denies opportunities, privileges, or rewards to an employee
based solely on their sex. Although most gender discrimination is
directed toward women, men can be victims as well. Federal law under
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the California Fair
Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and the California Constitution
prohibit gender discrimination in any term, condition, or privilege of
employment. This includes employment practices such as hiring,
compensation, benefits, training, promotion, discipline, and firing.
Even if gender discrimination is unintentional, an employer might be
liable if an employer’s policies or practices cause a disparate impact
on men and women employees in the workplace.
Types of Gender Discrimination
Gender discrimination can take many
forms. Some examples include the following:
- Wage Discrimination occurs when an employer pays an employee of
one sex less than an employee of the other sex for the same work.
- Pregnancy Discrimination includes any adverse action by an
employer against a female employee because of her pregnancy. An employer
must provide a pregnant employee with reasonable work accommodations as
well as the right to maternity leave. Employers are also prohibited
from discriminating against breastfeeding mothers.
- Sexual Harassment can involve several types of behavior. It occurs
when an employer offers any type of employment benefit in exchange for
sexual favors. It also includes unwanted sexual advances or physical
contact, making sexual gestures or comments, displaying offensive
material, or hostile treatment of female workers because of their
gender. Such conduct becomes illegal when it is so severe or pervasive
that it interferes with the employee’s ability to do his or her work.
Men as well as women can be victims of sexual harassment.
- Gender Identity or Stereotyping occurs when any adverse employment
action is taken because an employer thinks that the employee is not
“acting like” their gender or does not conform to a “gender norm.” For
example, it is illegal to fire a woman because she is a tom-boy or a man
because he acts too effeminate. A federal court has ruled that
transgender employees are also protected from this type of
discrimination under Title IV. Transgender employees may be protected by
California law as well.
Types of Recovery for Gender Discrimination
who are subject to unlawful gender discrimination may be able to
recover the following types of damages:
- past lost wages and benefits
- future lost wages and benefits
- damages for emotional distress, pain, and suffering
- punitive damages
- attorney’s fees
California Gender Discrimination Attorneys
If you think you have been the victim of gender discrimination, been denied
employment opportunities, or been treated unfairly by your employer as a
result of your gender, you should contact an experienced gender
discrimination attorney who can evaluate your claim and advise you of
your rights. It is important to seek an attorney with expertise and an
excellent reputation. The Law Offices of Mayor Joseph L. Alioto and
Angela Alioto P.L.C. is distinguished by its expertise and national
recognition in Civil Rights and Employment Law. Our law firm is
extremely experienced in the laws of gender discrimination and sexual
harassment and has helped victims recover substantial damage awards for