Sex discrimination in the workplace is legally defined as the unfavorable, negative, or unwanted treatment of any employee based on their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy status. To help you better understand this form of discrimination and how it can affect employees, this article will review the four types of sex discrimination in the workplace.
Sex is described as the physical and psychological differences between females and males, including primary and secondary sex characteristics such as chromosomes, genitals, height, and muscle mass. In general, it is how our current society categorizes one another at first glance, and assigned female at birth (AFAB) women are considered vulnerable to sexual discrimination in the workplace. They can be regarded as too weak, emotional, or unfit to lead and, at times, paid less than their male counterparts simply based on their sexual characteristics and the stereotypes that come with it.
Sexual orientation is an individual's desire to have romantic, physical, or emotional relationships with a particular gender or genders, such as homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, and so forth. Like sex, sexual orientations also come with certain stereotypes that make a person more or less vulnerable to workplace discrimination. For example, heterosexuality is widely considered "normal" and most often will not be the subject of sexual orientation discrimination. Conversely, homosexual relationships are still considered to be the minority, and there are many harmful stereotypes associated with homosexual and other LGBTQIA+ relationships that make them the target of sexual orientation workplace discrimination.
If a cis-man is considered "effeminate" or a cis-woman is acting "too masculine," they may be pinned as homosexuals and thus the subject of discrimination by homophobic employees or employers. People of differing sexual orientations can be subject to hiring discrimination, losing out on promotions, pay discrimination, and even violence.
Gender identity is the gender with which a person identifies and can be different from their assigned sex at birth. There are many gender identities to which a person can relate, and these identities can change at any given time. Those not considered the "norm" or cis-passing may be subject to the same workplace discrimination as those of differing sexual orientations. Particularly, trans men and women across the globe are more subject to violence. In the workplace, a person who doesn't appear to fit in the boxes of cis-male or cis-female may be disproportionately rejected or punished, let go, harassed, and harshly reviewed by their employers.
Pregnancy status is one of the most common types of sex discrimination in the workplace. Often, employers don't want to give time off to pregnant or looking to become pregnant workers. This often leads back to sex discrimination, as cis-females are often the most likely to be subject to pregnancy status discrimination. To an employer, a non-pregnant person who can do more work can easily replace a pregnant person.
If you feel like you've been a victim of sex discrimination in the workplace, contact The Law Firm of Tamara N Holder. Here, we can provide you with a knowledgeable and experienced gender discrimination lawyer and the legal representation you deserve.