Sex or gender discrimination involves treating an individual unfavorably because of that person's sex or gender. It can also involve treating someone less favorably because of their connection with an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain sex.
Minnesota Sex Discrimination Attorney
As a civil rights attorney, I can help bring clarity, direction, and sense to disputes involving sex discrimination. I advise and advocate for those who seek to be fair and equal, including: employees, employers, executives, and entrepreneurs.
What laws prohibit sex discrimination?
Both Minnesota law (through the Minnesota Human Rights Act, or MHRA) and federal law (primarily Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) prohibit sex/gender discrimination in various aspects of life, including employment, housing, education, and access to public services.
Employment: Employers cannot discriminate based on sex/gender in hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, or any other term or condition of employment. This also includes sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination, which are considered forms of sex/gender discrimination.
Housing: The MHRA and the federal Fair Housing Act prohibit housing discrimination based on sex/gender. This means landlords, sellers, and housing providers cannot treat people differently based on their sex/gender.
Education: Both the MHRA and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 prohibit sex/gender discrimination in education. Schools cannot treat students or prospective students differently based on their sex/gender.
Public Services and Accommodations: The MHRA prohibits sex/gender discrimination in public services and public accommodations. This includes places like hotels, restaurants, theaters, and other public facilities.
What does unlawful gender discrimination look like?
Sex/gender discrimination can take several forms:
Direct Discrimination: This occurs when a person is treated less favorably because of their sex/gender. An example would be a company that promotes men more often than equally qualified women.
Indirect Discrimination: This occurs when a policy that applies to everyone could disadvantage one sex. For instance, a requirement that job applicants must be a certain height could indirectly discriminate against women, as women, on average, are shorter than men.
Harassment: This includes sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment through sexist comments or behavior.
Pregnancy Discrimination: This occurs when women are treated unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.
Gender Identity Discrimination: This occurs when individuals are treated unfavorably because of their gender identity or because they are transgender. Discrimination based on gender identity is a form of sex/gender discrimination.
Sexual Orientation Discrimination: This occurs when individuals are treated unfavorably because of their sexual orientation. Discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex/gender discrimination.
If a person believes they have been a victim of sex/gender discrimination, they can seek remedies through the Minnesota Department of Human Rights or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Remedies can include job reinstatement, back pay, compensatory damages, changes in policy, or even punitive damages.
It's important to note that while the MHRA and federal laws provide a strong foundation for combating sex/gender discrimination, the nuances of each case can be complex. Therefore, those who have questions regarding this form of discrimination are often best served by consulting with an experienced attorney.