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Understanding gender discrimination in employment

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2022 | Employment Law |

Employees have a right to be free from discrimination in their workplaces. One common type of discrimination is based on gender. It involves an employer treating an applicant or an employee unfavorably because of his or her gender and can also include discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy.

Gender discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on gender in any aspect of employment. This includes hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, training, benefits and other parts of employment. It applies to employers with 15 or more employees.

Employers also cannot harass an employee based on his or her gender. Harassment means that the behavior was so severe or pervasive that it caused the victim to suffer an adverse employment action or creates a hostile work environment. This behavior can range from sexual harassment to derogatory comments about a person’s gender.


There are signs of potential discrimination that employees and applicants should be aware of. If an employer has an office full of people of the same gender or if one gender predominately fills a certain role in the company, that may be evidence of gender discrimination.

If a person is passed over for promotion by someone of the opposite gender or is left out of office social activities based on gender, that may also indicate gender discrimination.

If an applicant or employee has suffered from gender discrimination in the workplace, an experienced employment discrimination attorney can provide guidance and advice about next steps.