Sex/Gender Discrimination in Alabama

The work we do is more than a job. It is a cause. We firmly believe in that work and strive to insure a workplace fair and free of discrimination and harassment.

- Kenneth Haynes

Today, your sex or gender should not matter in the workplace. You deserve to be judged on your experience, your character, and your qualifications - nothing more. We all deserve a work environment that is safe and where we are valued for who we are and for the hard work that we do.

Yet, in reality, many workers find themselves the target of unfair treatment due to their sex or gender. This discrimination may be overt, or it may be subtle; it can be an isolated event or part of a systemic problem. Regardless, it may be a violation of the law, and you should seek legal help if you've been a victim.

Treating an employee or job applicant differently because of their sex or gender is just as shameful and illegal as discriminating against someone because of their race, color, religion, or national origin. It is a shame that such discrimination exists almost six decades after the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed - but it will never go away unless we stand up to it and fight for what is right.

What Is Sex Discrimination?

Sex discrimination occurs when an employer, employment or placement agency, or union treats someone (an applicant, employee, or former employee) differently than other individuals because of their sex. This discrimination can take many forms. It is unlawful for a person's sex to influence any aspect of employment, including:

  • Recruiting (soliciting applications from individuals of one sex);
  • Hiring (labeling jobs as only appropriate for individuals of one sex);
  • Firing (including terminating women for being pregnant);
  • Wages (including failure to provide equal pay);
  • Job Assignments (restricting women or men to particular jobs or duties);
  • Promotions (glass ceiling issues);
  • Layoffs (granting sex-based preferences);
  • Training (denying the right to gain human capital);
  • Benefits (including health and life insurance and pension benefits); and
  • Any other term or condition of employment (including creating a harassing or hostile environment).

What is Gender Discrimination and How is it Different from Sex Discrimination?

"Sex" and "gender" are two related, but separate, things. "Sex" typically refers to differences which are biological or anatomical in nature. "Gender" is a societal or cultural construct. It typically refers to roles which society assigns to the sexes, such as "fireman" or "waitress," or to characteristics which are considered "masculine" or "feminine," such as "determined" to describe men who express their opinions while labeling women who do the same as "bossy." Individuals of either sex can possess characteristics which are both masculine or feminine.

While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 refers to sex discrimination, the Supreme Court of the United States has interpreted this provision to include gender discrimination. Sex discrimination may occur, for example, when an employer decides that women are unsuited for a particular type of job, or fires women when they become pregnant. Gender discrimination, on the other hand, occurs when an employer acts on the basis of stereotypes associated with a particular sex or treats someone unfavorably because that person's conduct does not match the stereotype associated with his or her sexual group, e.g., suggesting that a female employee dress more femininely, or criticizing a male employee for not being "macho."

What About Protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals?

Title VII does not explicitly include sexual orientation or gender identity in its list of protected bases. Nevertheless, some courts have concluded that the proscription against sex discrimination in Title VII includes discrimination against workers who are gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual, and discrimination based upon gender identity. Further, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), the agency responsible for enforcing Title VII, has concluded that discrimination against an individual because of that person's sexual orientation or gender identity is discrimination because of sex/gender and therefore is prohibited under Title VII. Furthermore, transgender individuals may also be entitled to certain protections and accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA").

How We Can Help

The attorneys at Haynes & Haynes have shown time and time again that we know what it takes to challenge workplace discrimination. It is our passion, and we have devoted our careers to this fight. When you hire an attorney, you get an advocate on your side. We are driven by your best interests and a strong sense of fairness and justice, and we will pursue every possible legal avenue available to you to achieve that goal. 

Contact Us Today

If you have been a victim of sex or gender discrimination - or any other form of discrimination - at work, contact the attorneys at Haynes & Haynes today by filling out the online form or calling us at (205) 879-0377 to discuss your situation. We can tell you how we may be able to help. We are committed to using our legal skills to confront discrimination in all of its forms and to eradicate it from the workplace. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us to learn about your rights and options.