Even though the world has come a long way in regard to equal rights among men and women, sex discrimination still exists in workplaces throughout the country. While you hope to never run into this, if you do, it’s important to know which steps to take.
As the name suggests, sex discrimination is nothing more than treating someone, including both employees and applicants, unfavorably because of their sex.
Common types of sex discrimination
There is more than one type of sex discrimination. Understanding each type makes it easier to understand if you’re a victim. Some of the many things that can result from sex discrimination include:
- Termination of employment
- Issues regarding pay
- Issues regarding job assignments
- Less fringe benefits than employees of the opposite sex
What about sex discrimination harassment?
It’s against the law to harass a person because of their sex. There are many forms of harassment, with sexual harassment at the top of the list. This can include things such as asking for sexual favors, making sexual advances and any form of verbal harassment.
Also, it’s important to note that both men and women can be the victim of sex discrimination and/or harassment. Traditionally, women were most commonly the victim, but men can find themselves in the same position.
What to do about sex discrimination
If you have reason to believe you’re the victim of sex discrimination or harassment, here are some of the steps you should take:
- Keep track of all instances, including when it occurred, where it occurred and exactly what happened
- Read your employee handbook for guidance on how to file a formal complaint
- Don’t wait to file a complaint with your HR department
- Follow up to ensure that the problem is being taken care of
- Consider your legal options, especially if the sex discrimination resulted in your termination or some other loss (such as a demotion or pay cut)
You should never sit back and assume that sex discrimination will go away on its own. This may happen, but it’s more likely that the problem will persist if you let it.
There are both federal and state laws in place to protect you from sex discrimination and harassment, so make sure you understand the finer details and how to fight back should you become a victim.