Employees have a right to a work environment in which they are not treated differently based on their gender and one that is free of inappropriate sexual advances or harassment. If you have been unfairly treated at your job or subjected to a hostile work environment, you may qualify for compensation. Consult with a San Antonio discrimination attorney to determine how we can help.
There are a number of reasons for which an employer cannot discriminate against employees or job applicants, and sex and gender are among them.
Anyone may face discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual harassment in the workplace. If you have been rejected for employment, demoted, fired, or otherwise treated unfairly because of your gender, you may have suffered sex or gender discrimination. There are many ways gender discrimination may present.
Some of these include:
It should be noted that harassment is a different cause of action and has different elements than discrimination.
Sexual harassment is interpersonal in nature, and discrimination results from official employment-related actions.
Harassment can occur nearly anywhere relating to work, including:
Employers, managers, and supervisors have a legal duty to protect employees from harassment. In some instances, “not knowing” about harassment is not a legal defense.
Both discrimination and harassment may create a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment is one in which an employee is subject to unwelcome actions. These may include sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other inappropriate verbal or physical conduct.
In a hostile work environment, the harasser may be any gender and can occupy any role in the organization. This individual may be the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, company vendors, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, a subordinate, or a nonemployee.
Harassment may occur from interpersonal actions that target:
A hostile work environment may be any workplace in which any of the following occurs between individuals:
There are several ways to seek compensation for facing discrimination or harassment in the workplace. If you choose to use the federal court system, you must first file a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The discrimination charge must be filed within 180 days of the most recent harassment or discriminatory acts.
While it is technically possible to file with the EEOC without a lawyer, victims of harassment or discrimination are strongly advised to retain legal counsel for this process. Victims may not file a lawsuit in federal court unless they obtain a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC, so this is an incredibly important step.