Shawn has a masters of public administration, JD, and a BA in political science.
Title VII and Sex Discrimination
Sex discrimination, for purposes of employment law, is treating a job applicant or employee adversely because of the person's gender. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law that prohibits employers from engaging in any discrimination against a job applicant or employee on the basis of sex. Sex discrimination also occurs if an employee or job applicant is discriminated against because of an affiliation with an organization that is associated with people of a particular sex, such as NOW (National Organization for Women). Discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals is also not permitted. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title VII.
There are several ways that sex discrimination might take place in a working environment. Let's go through some of these ways now.
Types of Sex Discrimination
Employment actions: It is a violation of Title VII for an employer to discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of sex regarding a broad range of employment activities including hiring, firing, compensation, benefits, work assignments, promotions, training, and any other term or condition of employment. For example, an employer cannot deny employment to an otherwise qualified job applicant because the applicant is a woman or gay.
Sexual Harassment: It is also a violation of Title VII for an employer to harass, or knowingly permit the harassment of, an employee or job applicant based upon the person's sex. The harasser can be a supervisor, some other person from management, a co-worker, or even someone who's not an employee, such as a client or customer. You can generally break sexual harassment into two categories:
1.) Unwelcome sexual advances are one form of sexual harassment. They involve repeated unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors. Quid pro quo (Latin for 'this for that') harassment occurs when a supervisor threatens to adversely affect a person's job if the victim does not submit to the supervisor's sexual advances. The classic example is a boss who demands sex in order for his secretary to keep her job.
2.) Hostile workplace is a situation in which the victim faces an offensive, intimidating, or oppressive work environment. Occasional teasing or isolated incidents do not usually constitute a hostile workplace environment for purposes of Title VII. A hostile workplace environment does exist in a workplace with sexual conduct that interferes with an employee's ability to perform his or her job. An example of a hostile work environment may be an employee break room where pornographic pictures are posted on the walls and tasteless, insulting jokes about women are routinely told.
Employment policies and practices can violate Title VII even if they apply to everyone equally. Such policies and practices will violate Title VII if they have a negative impact on the employment of people in the protected class so long as the policy or practice is not job related or necessary for the successful operation of the business. A policy requiring all employees to have short hair may violate Title VII if there is no legitimate business reason for the policy.
It is a violation Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for an employer to discriminate against a job applicant or employee on the basis of sex. Sex discrimination is broadly defined to include not only discrimination based upon a person's sex but also a person's affiliation with an organization related to a particular sex. Title VII also protects gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons. The law prohibits discrimination in employment activities, such as hiring, firing, promotion, pay, and benefits. It also prohibits sexual harassment and any employment policy or practice that has a negative impact on a person based upon the person's sex so long as the policy or practice is not necessary for the successful operation of the business.
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