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What Is Gender Discrimination against Women at Work?

What Is Gender Discrimination against Women at Work?

In the US, gender discrimination is prohibited under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Although this law gives nationwide protections for employees and job applicants, discrimination on the basis of gender is still a problem in modern workplaces. It disproportionately impacts women of color and transgender women. Gender discrimination is a form of discrimination in which somebody is treated differently or unfairly due to their gender or sex. Some of the most common types of gender discrimination that women experience in the workplace include the following.

Sexual Harassment

This insidious form of gender discrimination in the workplace involves unsolicited behavior, either physical or verbal, of a sexual nature that may interfere with work performance, have an impact on somebody’s employment, or create a hostile work environment for them. For example, sexual harassment can include inappropriate sexual jokes, unwanted touching, or sexual slurs. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, Lotas Legal helps victims of gender discrimination throughout Minnesota.

Different Treatment

Treating somebody in a different or unjust way as an employee on the basis of their gender is another form of gender discrimination that employees might experience. This could be in the form of discriminatory hiring or firing practices, restriction of benefits or promotions due to a person’s gender, or pay disparities. This could include being passed over for a promotion due to your gender, being paid less than a male employee for the same job, or being written up for behaviors that do not result in the same action for an employee of the other sex.

How Gender Discrimination Can Affect Women in the Workplace

Gender discrimination in the workplace can have a large impact on somebody’s physical, psychological, and emotional health. Being unable to control how you are treated or viewed by others due to your gender can be very upsetting, and it can have an impact on all aspects of your employment from the safety of your working environment to your ability to perform your job tasks and responsibilities well.

Gender Discrimination Laws

If you feel that you are being discriminated against in the workplace due to your gender, there are several federal and state laws that outline protections against the discrimination of employees in the workplace based on gender. The primary federal law that protects employees from gender discrimination is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964. This law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, sex, race, color, religion, or national origin, and typically applies to employers who have at least fifteen employees.

Your Rights at Work

Nobody should feel like they are obligated to put up with workplace discrimination as a result of their gender. As an employee living and working in the US, you have several rights and protections that are in place to ensure that you are able to enjoy equality in the workplace. These include the right to work in a safe environment that is free from discrimination and the right to report any discrimination to your boss or HR.


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by Rebecca Jones // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.