The terms gender and sex can be used interchangeably. However, these terms have different meanings. The term “sex” is used by social scientists to refer to an individual’s anatomical or biological identity, and the term “gender” refers to the collection of characteristics that, as a society, are generally associated with maleness or femaleness. Ultimately, regardless of whether it is based on an individual’s sex or gender, discrimination based on either of these characteristics is illegal.
Gender Discrimination Explained
Sex Discrimination And Gender Identity Discrimination
What About Gender Or Sexual Harassment
Gender discrimination basically means that an employer has treated an employee differently specifically because that individual is a man or a woman. If an employee was rejected for employment, fired, or harmed in the course of their employment because of their gender — or perceived gender — it’s likely that he or she has suffered gender discrimination in the workplace.
In the vast majority of cases, gender discrimination tends to happen to female employees. Below are several examples of potentially illegal instances of gender discrimination that women face in the workplace:
The phrase “gender identity” specifically refers to a person’s self-identification as a man or a woman. In most cases, a person’s gender identity matches their anatomical sex. In other words, individuals born with male physical characteristics typically will identify as men. And individuals born with female physical characteristics will identify as women. There are, however, instances when gender identity does not align with anatomical sex. This means that for transsexual individuals, their gender identity and anatomical sex do not necessarily match up.
For example, an individual can be born male, but may strongly see themselves as a woman and will self-identify as a woman. And vice versa: an individual who was born female may have a strong internal self-image as a man and may self-identify as such. There are many transsexual individuals who seek hormone therapy and or surgery to help match their physical sex with their gender identity, but this won’t always be the case.
The term “transgender” is often used as a broad way of describing anyone who does not conform to gender stereotypes when it comes to their gender identity or gender expressions. Transgendered people typically must deal with serious instances of discrimination in the workplace because they do not conform to traditional stereotypes or gender roles.
It wasn’t long ago that courts across the board held the position that transsexual people were not entitled to protections under Title VII (the law that makes sex discrimination illegal). Recently, courts have decided that transsexual persons are entitled to protections against discrimination under Title VII, as well as any other applicable sex discrimination laws.
Sexual harassment is a very common form of sex discrimination which is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Title VII does not actually use the phrase “sexual harassment,” but courts have long held that sexual harassment is an illegal form of sex discrimination.
Examples of sexual harassment include:
The above examples are all common instances of sexual harassment because they explicitly or implicitly and unreasonably affect or interfere with an individual’s performance at work. Such behaviors may also subject victims of discrimination to a hostile, intimidating or offensive work environment.
Gender based harassment is another type of illegal, sex based harassment that is not of a sexual nature. A common, albeit terrible example of gender based harassment is an employer who is known to make derogatory comments about female employees by referring to them as “bitches.”
If you have made up your mind to take action, it is important to work with an attorney that specializes in cases like yours. The gender discrimination lawyers at West Coast Employment Lawyers have extensive experience handling gender discrimination cases. We will work tirelessly to gather the facts, find and interview eyewitnesses, hire experts, and fight for your rights.
We work on a contingency basis, which means we only get attorney’s fees if we are able to recover for you. Our legal team is available 24/7 and will take care of your case from start to finish. For a free no-obligation consultation with a gender discrimination attorney in California, contact our office at 1-800-247-9235.
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