What Is Gender Discrimination?
An employer cannot discriminate against an employee because of their gender (male or female). Sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination are two types of gender discrimination covered by separate questions on this website, but here are some of the kinds of evidence that are often important in proving gender discrimination:
- Replacement of the fired worker with someone who is of a different gender.
- Use of gender-related slurs (for example, referring to a woman as a “bitch”).
- Use of gender stereotypes (for example, insisting that women wear frilly or sexually suggestive clothing to work, criticizing strong female supervisors as “pushy,” “loud-mouthed,” or “overly-aggressive,” or suggesting that women should stay home and raise children).
- Gender-related jokes.
- Comments indicating hostility toward women generally (employees, customers, vendors, or others).
- Different treatment of men in similar situations (for example, giving female employees lower pay, higher sales or production quotas, or fewer opportunities for training and promotion).
Gender-related comments are generally most helpful when they are made by someone who supervises the employee in question, or when such a supervisor knows about them and doesn’t take action to make them stop.