Sex discrimination can take many different forms in a Silicon Valley workplace. Under federal law, for example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on a person’s sex, which includes a prohibition against discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. While the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recognizes certain discrimination complaints that arise as a result of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, such prohibitions are not stated expressly in federal statutes. In this way, California law is broader.
Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), sex discrimination also expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. As such, it may be beneficial for an employee who has experienced sexual orientation discrimination or gender identity discrimination to file a claim under the FEHA as opposed to a claim under federal law.
A dedicated Silicon Valley sex discrimination lawyer can speak with you today about your case.
One of the more common forms of sex discrimination at the workplace in Silicon Valley is sexual harassment. Both the EEOC and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) recognize sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination.
Generally speaking, sexual harassment can occur in two different forms. In many cases, sexual harassment takes the form of quid pro quo harassment, or “this for that,” where a supervisor or another employee offers a benefit to another employee (like a raise or a promotion) in exchange for a sexual favor or sexual activity. Sexual harassment can also take the form of hostile work environment harassment, where one person’s sex-based discrimination is so pervasive or egregious that it creates a hostile work environment for the target of the discrimination or for others in the workplace.
When it comes to hostile work environment claims, the claimant does not need to be the target of the discrimination. Another employee in the workplace can also be affected and may be eligible to file a claim.
Sex-based discrimination goes beyond sexual harassment. Other examples of sex-based discrimination can include but are not limited to:
Employers are required to have policies in place that apply to all employees regardless of sex. If a policy discriminates based on sex, the employer could be liable for sex discrimination.
Do you have questions or concerns about sex discrimination at work? An experienced Silicon Valley sex discrimination attorney can answer your questions. Contact Minnis & Smallets LLP for more information.