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Gender Discrimination

Gender Discrimination

There are various federal and state laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against their employees based on gender, but the main law is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under Title VII, making any job-related decision based on someone’s gender is illegal. Examples of these decisions include wage determinations as well as who to hire, fire, lay off, demote, promote, or reassign to a new job.

Equal Pay Act and Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Besides Title VII, there are two other federal laws that protect you from gender discrimination. The Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying women a different wage than other workers, while the Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects pregnant women from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Because both of these laws are at the federal level, a government agency known as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing them.

To file a gender discrimination lawsuit against your employer, you must first file a claim with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate your allegations and either file a lawsuit against your employer on your behalf or give you permission to find an attorney and file a lawsuit on your own.


Victims should never fear coming forward and reporting gender discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers cannot retaliate against someone because of his or her involvement in a gender discrimination complaint. This means if you reported the discrimination to your employer or the EEOC, you are protected. Even if you are not the one being discriminated against and you were reporting it on behalf of someone else, you are still covered. If you are retaliated against, you can file an additional complaint with the EEOC.
Examples of Gender Discrimination

Possible examples of gender discrimination include:

  • Unequal pay
  • Failure to promote
  • All superiors are of the opposite sex
  • Sexist comments
  • Glass ceilings
  • Diminished responsibilities
  • Outdated views
  • Sexual harassment
  • Positional bias

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