Gender (Sex) Discrimination Basics

Gender (or sex) discrimination occurs when a person is subjected to different or unequal treatment (“discrimination”) in any number of situations, when that treatment is based on the person’s gender.

Where and When Can Gender Discrimination Occur?

Gender discrimination can take place in many different settings, but typically occurs most often in the following situations:

Employment – Including claims that a potential employer asked discriminatory questions based on gender during the interview process; claims that an employer failed to hire, failed to promote, or wrongfully terminated an employee based on his or her gender; unequal pay claims; and claims for sexual harassment of employees.

Education – Including claims for exclusion from educational programs or opportunities based on gender; and claims for sexual harassment of students.

HousingIncluding claims for refusal to negotiate with a person seeking housing, claims for imposition of different lease/contract terms, and claims for refusal to extend a loan based on the gender of the applicant/tenant/buyer.

Borrowing / CreditIncluding claims for refusal to extend credit, claims for imposition of unequal loan terms, and claims arising from improper inquiries during the credit/loan approval process, based on the gender of the applicant.

Laws Prohibiting Gender Discrimination

Most laws guaranteeing and regulating civil rights (including laws relating to gender discrimination) originate at the federal level, through federal legislation (such as the Equal Pay Act). Civil rights have also been defined and interpreted through federal court decisions (such as those handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court). States also pass their own civil rights laws (usually very similar to those at the federal level), and even municipalities like cities and counties can enact ordinances and laws related to civil rights and gender discrimination.

Gender Discrimination: Getting a Lawyer’s Help

If you believe you have suffered a civil rights violation based on your gender, the best place to start is to speak with an experienced Civil Rights Attorney. Important decisions related to your case can be complicated — including which laws apply to your situation, who may be responsible for any harm you suffered, and how to prove that those responsible acted with an intent to discriminate against you based on your gender. A Civil Rights Attorney will evaluate all aspects of your case and explain all options available to you, in order to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.