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Sex or Gender Discrimination

Discrimination because of sex or gender involves treating someone differently because of their sex. It has long been a problem in America’s workforce and continues to this day. Sex discrimination, generally, was made illegal by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. Over time, the law has developed so as to protect sex discrimination in many forms. In its most basic form, sex discrimination is adverse treatment of employees in the offering of jobs, the conditions of employment, pay, promotion, retention or practically any other aspect of work on account of their gender. However, discrimination because of sex also includes discriminating against someone because of their association with organizations or groups that are gender specific. It can also include discrimination because a person is transgendered. This would be discrimination based on gender identity. Demanding conformity with stereotypes or characteristics commonly associated with a particular gender can also be illegal where it results in an adverse employment action. This is not an uncommon experience for women in the workplace. Neither is it an uncommon experience for lesbian, gay or bisexual individuals. Sexual harassment is also a form of sex discrimination and is also illegal. Sexual harassment is explained in more detail here.

Title VII now protects workers from all of these forms of sex based discriminatory conduct. However, there are also other laws that help employees confront sex discrimination. Some of them are explained elsewhere on this site and our firm is experienced in handling cases under all of them. For instance, there is the Equal Pay Act that protects employees from being forced to receive less pay for doing the same work as a person of the opposite gender. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is a part of Title VII and protects women from discrimination on account of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. In addition, many states, although not Georgia, have enacted their own anti-discrimination laws to protect against various forms of discriminatory conduct in the work place.


If employers have a sufficient number of employees to be covered under Title VII, then they can be liable for many forms of damages if it is determined that they have discriminated based on sex or gender, including pregnancy. Damages can include back pay or the amount of pay loss due to the discrimination, front pay or the amount of pay expected to be lost in the future and compensatory and punitive damages. Employees can also obtain reinstatement to jobs or positions lost, an award of a job or position denied, as well as attorneys’ fees incurred in bringing the claims. The Equal Pay Act has different requirements and a different set of remedies as explained elsewhere on this site.

Agency Involvement

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 set up the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as the federal agency in charge of investigating claims of discrimination under Title VII and employees are required to file charges of discrimination with the EEOC within a limited amount of time after learning of or experiencing discrimination; in some cases, within as little as 180 days.

Although this is just an overview of sex or gender discrimination, if you have concerns or have additional questions, we can help guide you and, if necessary, represent you before the EEOC or in Court. To further discuss your situation, you can call us toll free at (706) 769-4410, send us an e-mail, or fill out a consultation request form and we will contact as soon as possible.