Overview: Title VII as well as various state and local laws prohibit discrimination based on sex or gender. Accordingly, an employer should avoid making employment decisions based solely on gender as well as apply all workplace policies in a gender-neutral manner. This means that employers should use the same criteria to evaluate employee performance as well as provide both men and women with equal opportunity in hiring and advancement. Employers should develop a zero tolerance policy for gender discrimination and make sure to provide training to all employees and supervisors.
Further, employers should avoid engaging in unlawful sex stereotyping as well as treating men and women differently based on pregnancy, family and medical leave or caregiving responsibilities. Employers need to understand that the prohibition against sex discrimination not only applies to women, but also prohibits employee discrimination against men. It pertains to any discrimination that is based on an individual's gender and also prohibits sexual harassment.
Trends: Employers should be aware that the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act has been introduced in the US Congress. It would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant women unless it would cause undue hardship for the employer. Further, under the Affordable Care Act, employers are already obligated to provide reasonable breaks for mothers to express milk for up to one year after the child's birth.
Employers should also know that the EEOC has been aggressively pursuing sex discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC has been extremely successful in bringing class action lawsuits based on sex discrimination and sexual harassment. Further, in the landmark case of Macy v. Holder, EEOC No. 0120120821, the EEOC held that claims of discrimination based on gender identity, change of sex, sex stereotyping, and transgender status constitute sex discrimination. Additionally, the EEOC remains committed to providing for equal pay in the workplace.
Author: Beth P. Zoller, JD, Legal Editor
This podcast features an in-depth look at the rise of state pregnancy accommodation laws and what employers need to know about this trend with Boston employment attorney Catherine Reuben, of Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP.
A new San Francisco ordinance will prohibit employers, including city contractors and subcontractors, from asking any questions about a job applicant's current or past salary.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employer may use an individual's salary history to determine the individual's pay in certain circumstances, even if it results in a female employee earning less than male employees for doing the same work.
XpertHR offers many tools and resources to help an employer with respect to pregnancy discrimination and accommodation.
In a first-of-its-kind ruling by a federal appellate court, the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has found in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College that discrimination based on sexual orientation is covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
XpertHR offers many tools and resources to help an employer prevent family responsibility discrimination.
The workplace is evolving at a rapid-fire pace amidst technological, societal and cultural changes and employers need to be ready to meet these changes. So what are the top compliance issues to watch out for in 2017?
Updated to reflect amendments to state's Fair Pay Act, effective January 1, 2017.
Updated to include information on a federal district court case on whether Title VII prohibits sexual orientation discrimination.
HR Guidance on addressing sex discrimination in the workplace and ensuring equal opportunity for employees and applicants of both genders.