The law prohibits employment discrimination based on an employee’s gender. In practice, however, these cases are rarely as simple as an employer blatantly firing an employee because she is a woman. Gender discrimination issues are usually far more complex, and it is important to speak with a San Francisco gender discrimination attorney. The following are some examples of the many complex gender discrimination issues that the law does address and expressly prohibit.
Thanks to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pregnancy discrimination has been recognized as unlawful discrimination based upon the employee’s gender. It is illegal to change any of the material terms and conditions of employment based upon an employee’s pregnancy. If you have faced discrimination in hiring, discipline, job assignments, promotions, or even terminated based upon your pregnancy, it is important to get advice from a pregnancy discrimination lawyer.
In 2020, the Supreme Court issued a new ruling in the area of employment discrimination. Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia held that firing an employee based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity is a form of gender discrimination. If, for example, an employer fires a woman because she is married to a woman, she is being treated differently than a man who is in the same position (who would not be fired for being married to a woman). This ruling created some of the most comprehensive and clear protections that have ever existed for LGBT workers in the United States.
The decision does not, however, address issues such as access to bathrooms and locker rooms or employee dress codes. These issues are protected under California state laws. In this state, employees must be allowed to use the bathroom and locker facilities that conform to their gender identity or expression. They also cannot be required to dress in conformance with a particular identity unless it is necessary to the employer’s functions. (An example would be an actor who must dress for a role, regardless of the actor’s gender identity.)
Sexual harassment has also been ruled to be unlawful discrimination that is based upon an employee’s gender. Employers can be held accountable for failing to correct sexual harassment that is allowed to persist in the workplace. If you have been asked for sexual favors in exchange for perks, this is “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. If you have been subjected to a work environment that is intimidating, hostile or offensive because of your gender, this is “hostile workplace” sexual harassment. Both are prohibited by gender discrimination laws.
The experienced employment discrimination attorneys at Minnis & Smallets LLP know how to handle all types of gender discrimination issues in the workplace. It is important to hold employers accountable for these illegal actions in order to protect future employees from similar types of discrimination in the workplace. It is also important to protect yourself by exercising your own legal right to be free from gender discrimination at work. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced employment discrimination attorneys.
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