Gender Discrimination

Sex/Gender/Gender Identity Discrimination

The federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), and the Maine Human Rights Act, make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any individual on the basis of their sex, gender, gender identity, or because that individual is pregnant. 

What Does the Law Cover?

Discrimination on the basis of one’s sex, gender, or gender identity in the employment context typically involves treating an employee (or applicant for employment) less-favorably because of that employee’s sex, gender, or gender identity (including transgender status).  The laws prohibiting discrimination on these bases cover all aspects of employment, such as hiring, firing, rate of pay, promotions, training, and benefits.

What Constitutes Unlawful Harrassment?

Unlawful harassment based on an employee’s sex, gender, or gender identity may take the form of “sexual harassment” (sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or inappropriate comments about one’s body).  It may also take the form of offensive comments, use of stereotypes, or hostility toward members of a certain gender, sex, or gender identity.  Not every instance of bad behavior rises to the level of unlawful harassment.  In explicit, or overt, instances, one time may be sufficient to constitute unlawful harassment.  In other instances, like with inappropriate jokes or stories, the focus is on the frequency, or “pervasiveness,” of the conduct that may result in an overall hostile work environment.  It is important to consult an attorney to determine whether the conduct to which you are subjected constitutes unlawful harassment.

Contact the Gender Descrimination lawyers at Clifford & Clifford to discuss your case.