Unfavorable treatment of individuals based on their orientation of sex, pregnancy, or gender identity in line with gender is considered sexual discrimination. Although it is not a specific federal decree, the 1964 Title VII Civil Rights Act forbids such acumen by employers.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) interprets Title VII to bar service discrimination anchored on the orientation of sex and identity based on gender. The EEOC’s position is that Title VII defends workers against gender identity and orientation of sex discrimination.
A plaintiff may use Title VII to sue for damages for any sex-based harassment or retaliation. A plaintiff can also use it to sue for indirect sex-based harassment, such as being denied a promotion because an employee’s supervisor is biased against the employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The EEOC has issued guidelines to help employers avoid this type of discrimination in the workplace and explain how they can prevent it from occurring in the first place.
In addition, employees can file a complaint with the EEOC if they believe they have been discriminated against based on gender identity or sexual orientation by an employer. To prove that discrimination occurred, an employee must show that:
The employer treated the employee differently than they would treat other employees of the same gender or sexual orientation.
The employer’s treatment was anchored on the employee’s definite or supposed gender identity or orientation to sex.
For instance, employees can show that their employer did not promote them because of their orientation in line with sex or gender. The employee would have to show a legitimate, non-discriminatory motive for the employer not promoting them. The reasons include their performance review, work history, and resume.
Suppose an employer does not promote you due to your sexual orientation or gender identity and claims that other employees have been promoted with fewer qualifications than you have. In that case, you could use this as evidence of discrimination in your case against the employer.
A plaintiff may also be able to sue for Title VII discrimination if a manager has implemented a policy that is discriminatory based on the orientation of sex or identity based on gender. Such a policy could include a company policy about employee dress codes, which prohibits women from wearing particular dresses but allows men to wear them, especially if these dress codes are applied equally to all employees regardless of sex.
An employee may also prove discrimination by showing that an employer’s decision to fire them was based on their sex (for example, failure to perform well at work) in combination with their orientation of sex or identity based on gender (for example, homosexuality).
Suppose a plaintiff can show these elements (that is: having been fired because of their sex/gender identity and being fired because of their sexual orientation). In that case, the plaintiff may be able to sue for discrimination under Title VII.
The EEOC is accepting complaints about the orientation of sex and identity based on gender discrimination. The EEOC has also announced that it will begin accepting complaints about harassment having sexual orientation identity based on gender as its base, including transgender individuals using restrooms that do not match their gender identity. As Haeggquist & Eck, LLP, we are always ready to offer help in pursuing cases against employers who have discriminated against our clients due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Feel free to contact us for help with your sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination case, as well as other types of employment discrimination.
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