Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination in the workplace
Sexual harassment is a form of employment discrimination because a person is subjected to unwelcome and offensive acts based upon sex. Sexual harassment has been generally broken up into two categories: (1) “hostile environment” in which you are subjected to severe and pervasive sexually offensive conduct, such as unwelcome touching and grabbing, pornography, sexually suggestive jokes or comments in the workplace that a reasonable person would find offensive or (2) “quid pro quo” sexual harassment, in which your employment conditions, such as a promotion or the threat of being fired, are dependent upon sexual favors or advances. Our Pittsburgh office has dealt with numerous cases like these.
It is illegal to be discriminated against in the workplace due to gender or sex. Gender discrimination may result in being paid less, getting less choice job assignments, being denied promotions, or being demoted, laid off, or fired due to a person’s gender.
The gender of the victim or the harasser is not important. For instance, the victim and harasser may be of the same sex so long as the harassing or discriminating actions are based upon the victim’s gender. Pittsburgh and Allegheny County prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Federal and Pennsylvania law do not, although LGBT people may bring claims of discrimination or harassment if adverse actions are taken against them because of their perceived non-conformance with sex-stereotypes.
It is also illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee or applicant who has filed a charge of sexual discrimination, complained about discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination proceeding.
The City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County also have protections and remedies for people who experience sex or gender discrimination.
Call 412-338-1195 or email our Pittsburgh employment attorneys to answer your questions and so we can learn more about your situation and how best to help.