Sex Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Sex Discrimination: What you need to know

Employment practices that discriminate on the basis of sex are prohibited by Title VII. Unlawful practices include sex-based discrimination in hiring, advancement, or any other term or condition of employment. Title VII covers all public employers and private employers with 15 or more employees. Many states have similar laws that apply to employers with fewer than 15 employees. Some state laws and local ordinances also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, and parental status.
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Sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other types of conduct that affect a person's employment, interfere with work performance, or create a hostile work environment.
Maternity and pregnancy. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 amended Title VII to include pregnancy, childbirth, and associated medical conditions within the definition of “sex.” As a result, discrimination based on pregnancy is prohibited under Title VII.
Title VII does not expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals have successfully asserted claims of discrimination under Title VII on the basis of an employer's gender stereotyping of characteristics or traits associated with a particular gender. For example, a federal court has ruled that a gay former employee who was harassed because he did not conform to the male stereotype in his workplace was entitled to bring his lawsuit to trial (Prowel v. Wise Bus. Forms, Inc., 579 F.3d 285 (3rd Cir. ...

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