Everyone, regardless of sex, must be treated equally in the workplace. Unfortunately, employers often discriminate or harass employees based on their sex. Sex discrimination (also known as gender discrimination) occurs when an employer makes an adverse employment decision based on the employee’s gender. This can include decisions on whether to hire, fire, promote, or demote an employee.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is also a form of discrimination. Sexual harassment can involve a supervisor or manager requesting sexual favors in return for job benefits. Sexual harassment can also involve creating an abusive or hostile environment. For example, a long-term pattern of inappropriate or sexually discriminatory comments constitutes a hostile work environment. A hostile environment may also involve a single especially severe incident, such as when an employee is subject to inappropriate touching in the workplace.