Sexual Harassment is discrimination based on sex. Federal and New York law forbids discrimination based on sex and gender in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
Sex & Gender Discrimination
While sex and gender are often used interchangeably, sex discrimination occurs when an employee is treated differently because they are a man or woman; whereas gender discrimination typically covers cases of stereotyping – where employees are treated differently because they do not conform to social norms or expectations of what a woman or man should be. For instance, a male who is deemed effeminate; or a female too aggressive. This form of gender discrimination can also lead to unlawful employment decisions that are based on martial or parental status. For example, a company refusing to hire or promote female applicants or employees because of an expectation they will leave the workforce to have children.
In 1978 sex discrimination was specifically defined to include discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The law requires that employers treat pregnancy the same as other physical conditions. So, if a woman is unable to perform her job due to a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, her employer must treat her in the same way it treats other disabled employees. For example, by providing light duty, alternative assignments, disability leave, or unpaid leave.
Another form of Sex discrimination occurs when an employer pays women less than men (or vice versa) for jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility that are performed under similar working conditions. Remarkably, according to data compiled by Claudia Goldin, a Harvard University labor economist and a leading scholar on women and the economy, women are still earning significantly less than men in many of the highest paying professions; including, doctors, lawyers and even judges.
The “Glass Ceiling” refers to a discriminatory barrier that exists in the workplace that prevents women from advancing in the workplace for no legitimate reason other than the fact they are female.
If you have been the victim of Sex Discrimination or Sexual Harassment, contact us immediately for a FREE consultation.