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Gender Discrimination

No one should be typecast into—or out of—a job or profession because of gender. Gender discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of the person’s gender. The law forbids discrimination in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, job assignments, layoff, training, fringe benefits and any other term or condition of employment.

An employment policy or practice that applies to everyone, irrespective of gender, can be illegal if it has a negative impact on the employment of people of a certain gender and is not job related or necessary to the operation of the business.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on sex by a private employer, state or local government or educational institution with 15 or more employees.

If you think you have been discriminated against because of your gender, you may file employment discrimination charges as an individual or as part of a group (known as "class action") with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The charges must be filed on an EEOC form within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act. If you are represented by a union, contact your union steward, who can help you file charges. Federal employees must file discrimination charges within their own agency. They must contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of the discriminatory act.

You can file a charge by calling the EEOC at 800-669-4000 for more information (800-669-6820 for the hearing impaired). All charges must include:

  • Your name, address and telephone number.
  • Your job title.
  • A brief description of the problem.
  • When the incident(s) occurred.
  • The type of discrimination you encountered.

For more information, visit the EEOC question-and-answer page about discrimination. Additional information about sexual discrimination may be found by visiting Workplace Fairness: Your Rights—Gender Discrimination.

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