Sex discrimination happens when an employer treats employees or applicants differently because of their gender. Pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, as is sexual harassment.
Outright sex discrimination used to be more common in the past, with advertisements for a “Gal Friday,” signs posted saying “Men Only Need Apply,” and pregnant employees being forced out of their jobs once they were “showing.” These days, sex discrimination is more likely to take the form of stereotyping based on gender roles — that women should (or will want to) stay home with their children, or that men are more likely to be assertive, for example.
The articles in this section explain what sex discrimination is and how to protect your rights. They also cover the Equal Pay Act, which requires employers to pay men and women equally for doing equal work, and other laws prohibiting wage discrimination based on sex.
Sex Discrimination Basics
Common Penalties Associated With Gender Discrimination
Information on damages and other remedies available to employees who win in court.
Sex Discrimination FAQ
Can my employer require me to wear makeup?
Sex Discrimination Resources
Your Rights in the Workplace
Find out about all your workplace rights — including the right to work free from discrimination — in Nolo’s essential reference.
The Essential Guide to Handling Workplace Harassment and Discrimination
Written for managers and employers, this handy reference explains how to recognize and handle discrimination claims.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The EEOc’s website offers lots of free information on discrimination and harassment, including how to file a charge with the agency.
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