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.
Employment Discrimination Attorney
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:
- Fired from employment
- Denied salary raises
- Denied job opportunities
- Denied promotions
- Subjected to other discriminatory conditions of employment
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:
- Field work sites
- Workplace premises
- Office parties
- Business trips
- On the way to and from work sites
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 person’s gender
- Sex and sexual orientation
- Race and ethnicity
A hostile work environment may be any workplace in which any of the following occurs between individuals:
- Fear and intimidation
- Psychological or physical threats
- Other unreasonable burdens that prevent an employee or employees from performing work
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.