Gender discrimination occurs when your employer treats you differently
because of your sex, male or female.
Here are questions that need to be asked and answered to help you decide
if you have a potential case against the employer.
1. Do federal employment laws apply to the employer in question?
- Federal employment laws apply to any employer with 15 or more employees.
2. Can my employer pay me less or provide me less benefits based on my sex?
- No. There are two separate Federal laws directed to the equalization
of pay/benefits based on sex. All things being equal, genders shall be
compensated an equivalent amount for the substantially same job.
3. Can my employer treat me differently because I have children?
- As with marital status, having children is not a federally protected
status. However, if you are denied certain opportunities because it is
assumed you would not want to participate due to having children, you
may have a gender discrimination claim (gender stereotyping). For example,
a woman with children may not be asked to participate in an after work
gathering because she has children to care for, but her male counterpart
with children would be asked to participate as the social stigma of getting
home to care for the children is not attached to him.
4. Is it EVER okay for an employer to not hire me because of my sex?
- This is only acceptable in very limited circumstances. In fact, the only
accepted circumstance is when there is a "bona fide occupational
qualification" necessary for the job. This typically would present
itself in circumstances in which same sex employees are needed in correctional
5. Can my employer make me dress in masculine or feminine clothing?
- Your employer has the right to enforce dress codes in the work place,
as long as the dress codes apply to all employees equally; such as, all
employees may have to dress "professionally" or suitable to
the customs of the profession. Your employer may direct all employees
to wear ties and all females to wear dresses, for example. However, your
employer cannot dictate that all women dress in a "sexy" uniform
without requiring male employees to do the same.
Kelly Masters is an Associate Attorney in Humble Law’s Birmingham
office. She represents employees whose rights have been violated and individuals
who have been charged in criminal matters. She can be reached via email
at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 205.358.3100.
Click here to view Kelly's Bio.