Gender or sex-based discrimination is when someone treats another unfavorably because of that person’s sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity (including transgender status). Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is the federal law that protects employees from workplace discrimination and prohibits discrimination in hiring, firing, pay job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, and benefits.
It is also unlawful to harass someone in the workplace due to that person’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or pregnancy. Harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, obscene language, demeaning comments, unwanted touching, or visual harassment such as displaying pornographic images, cartoons or drawings. Minor teasing, offhand comments or isolated incidents that are not frequent or serious may not be considered harassment. However, when the conduct is so severe or pervasive, a hostile work environment arises and an employer is required to take reasonable steps to stop the offending conduct.