Gender Stereotyping Sexual Harassment Claim May Be Brought Regardless of Plaintiff's Sexual Orientation
Author: Jessica Sussman
In Prowel v. Wise Business Forms, Inc., +579 F.3d 285 (3d Cir. 2009), the 3rd Circuit considered whether an unlawful employment practice occurs when gender is a motivating factor for any employment practice, even if it was not the only factor.
Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, national origin, race, and color. It does not expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
However, in this case, the court held that even though Title VII does not expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, an employee is permitted to claim sex discrimination and harassment based on gender stereotyping if the employee can show the harassing acts were to punish the employee for noncompliance with gender stereotypes.