Gender Discrimination

Discrimination on the basis of gender (or sex) is a breach of human rights that takes multiple forms, including sexual harassment, gender discrimination and unfair compensation for women doing the same work as men. Unfortunately, most women in the U.S. are all too familiar with all these disparities. This section provides in-depth detail on improper gender discrimination in the workplace and offers information on key federal and state regulations.

Often workers face discrimination on the basis of their gender and something else such as their race or ethnicity. For example, a woman of color may perceive sexism in the workplace differently than a white female coworker. She could be threatened, compensated less, judged more seriously, or moved over for promotion because of the mixture of her gender and her race.

Not all discrimination based on gender is deliberate or overt. It may also be called discrimination if the boss does anything that ends up preventing or hurting employees of a certain sex without the intention to do so. Sometimes a certain procedure or policy—say, a recruiting test or a requirement—does not say something about gender and could not have been placed in motion to keep women out of employment but ends up having that impact.

In order for gender inequality in the workplace to be found illegal, it would require treatment that adversely impacts the "terms or conditions of the job. Terms and conditions of work are all the duties, laws and advantages of a career. Much of the time, they are defined by the employer or agreed by the worker and the employer at the time of hiring. In unionized workplaces, they are negotiated and agreed as part of the collective bargaining" process.