San Francisco Sex Discrimination Attorneys

The sex discrimination attorneys at Minnis & Smallets help employees who have been subjected to discrimination because of their sex.

Sex discrimination is unlawful under California and federal law, but many employees still face unlawful, unfair treatment that holds them back in the workplace. At Minnis & Smallets, LLP, our sex discrimination attorneys are dedicated to helping employees enforce their rights and pursue all avenues of legal recourse after being subjected to prohibited conduct. Please contact our San Francisco, CA office to set up a free consultation regarding your case and read on for some important information about sex discrimination in California.

Federal and California Laws on Sex Discrimination

Employers are prohibited from treating employees and job candidates unfairly on account of their membership in a protected class; sex discrimination, unfair treatment due to sex, is one form of misconduct that falls under the umbrella of unlawful conduct. Both federal and California laws address discriminatory acts:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination, making it unlawful for an employer to discriminate in setting terms and conditions of employment based upon sex. The prohibition applies to all state and local governments and related agencies, and private employers that have 15 or more workers on staff.
  • California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the basis of sex, but it is more expansive in its protections for employees as compared to the federal statute. For one, the FEHA applies to employers having 5 or more employees. Therefore, employees with smaller employers are protected against discrimination by California law, even when Title VII does not apply.

Examples of Adverse Employment Actions

To succeed on a claim for sex discrimination in the workplace, an employee must demonstrate that an employer took an adverse employment action against an employee because of the employee’s sex. Instances of discrimination may be openly obvious, but others are subtler. Examples include:

  • Terminating, demoting, transferring the employee to an unfavorable workplace environment, or putting the employee in another undesirable employment situation because of sex;
  • Refusing to hire an employee as a job applicant on account of the employee’s sex;
  • Reducing pay, restricting work schedule, or denying a promotion due to the employee’s sex; and,
  • Other tangible acts that considerably and negatively affect the terms of employment.

Take Action Against Sex Discrimination

In some situations, an employee may want to first address sex discrimination with his or her employer and/or the human resources department. In other situations, employees may want to file a claim with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), or both—with or without the help of an attorney. Note that there are time limits for preserving and filing this type of claim, so consult an attorney. If an employee is successful in proving his or her claim, then the employee may be entitled to back pay, future pay, or equitable relief.


If you are looking for advice or representation, please contact us today using the form below and we will promptly respond to your inquiry.

Attorney Advertising. This information is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Past results and testimonials are not a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of the outcome of your case, and should not be construed as such. Past results cannot guarantee future performance. Any result in a single case is not meant to create an expectation of similar results in future matters because each case involves many different factors, therefore, results will differ on a case-by-case basis. By providing certain contact information herein, you are expressly authorizing the recipient of this message to contact you via the methods of communication provided.

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