It is an unfortunate fact that people still face sex-based employment discrimination. Although state and federal law prohibit discrimination based on sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received nearly 1,200 complaints about sex discrimination in Colorado in 2021.
Fortunately, employees have rights and remedies when faced with employment discrimination based on sex.
What is sex discrimination?
Sex discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or job applicant unfavorably because of the person’s sex. This can include discrimination in hiring, firing, promotions, pay, working conditions and any other aspect of employment.
Common examples of sex discrimination include holding men and women to different standards, paying men more than women or making offensive comments about a person’s sex.
Refusing to hire a woman for a management role because an employer believes women make poor managers is sex discrimination. So is requesting sexual favors or harassing a person about their sex.
Discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity
It is also sex discrimination to treat an employee unfavorably because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation. This means that an employer cannot refuse to hire or otherwise treat a person unfavorably because the person is gay or the employer believes the person is gay.
Additionally, an employer cannot discriminate based on a person’s gender identity.
What to do if you face sex discrimination
There are multiple avenues to seek relief under state and federal law for those experiencing employment discrimination. If you believe you have suffered discrimination based on sex, you should consult with an employment attorney for advice on how to best protect your rights.