Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sex or sexual identity. The law protects men, women, and transsexual or transgender employees. The law also offers protections to gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 30,356 filings alleging sex-based discrimination in 2012.
Title VII prohibits unfair treatment of individuals at any phase of employment, including hiring, termination, promotion, or training. It also prohibits unfair treatment in providing pay, benefits, and other terms of employment. Although some minor teasing is not illegal in the workplace, if it rises to the level of sexual harassment, it becomes illegal. Harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances as well as verbal or physical harassment. It can also include requests for sexual favors or tying the prospect of an employee's continued employment or opportunities for advancement to the employee's agreement to perform sexual acts. It is also illegal to make nonsexual but offensive remarks about an employee's gender or sexual orientation. If you believe that you have been affected by sex discrimination in the workplace, contact an attorney to learn about your rights.Sexual Discrimination and Domestic Violence
Sex-based discrimination can also occur when an employer makes stereotyped assumptions related to cases of domestic violence or stalking. Title VII prohibits unequal treatment based on sex. An employer must refrain from making judgments regarding domestic violence situations. For instance, if an employer who would allow a male to attend a court hearing in a prosecution for an assault, he must also allow a female victim of domestic violence to testify in the prosecution for her assault.Equal Pay
Employers are required to provide equal pay for equal work that is performed in the workplace, regardless of gender. If two employees have the same essential skills, educational backgrounds, experience levels and job functions, those two employees should earn the same pay. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act, employers must provide equal pay for equal work. All methods of compensation are covered by this Act, including overtime pay, bonuses, vacation time, and stock options.Pregnancy Discrimination
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee or applicant based on pregnancy. If the employee has any complications or medical conditions related to the pregnancy, the employer must treat the employee as temporarily disabled and make reasonable accommodations. These accommodations may include alternative assignments, disability leave, or other arrangements that the employer would provide for other employees who are temporarily disabled.
Pregnant employees have additional rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, nursing mothers have the right to express milk in the workplace. To learn more about the rights granted to pregnant and nursing mothers, contact an attorney.An Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Rights
Both federal and state laws affect cases involving sex discrimination, family leave, pregnancy, and nursing mothers. Applying these laws can be complicated. To ensure that your rights are protected and that your liability is minimized, contact the lawyers at Mays & Kerr today.