Gender Discrimination and Sex Discrimination

Sex discrimination claims are almost exclusively filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). Sex discrimination prohibited under Title VII includes discrimination based on pregnancy, sex stereotyping, and sexual harassment.

Title VII does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, but some state discrimination laws do.

In 2012, the EEOC ruled that employment discrimination based on an individual's gender identity, change of sex, and/or transgender status is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII.

What Happens when An Employee Files A Sex Discrimination Charge with the EEOC?

Before an employee can file a sex discrimination complaint against an employer under Title VII, he or she must file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

If the EEOC finds the claim has merit, it may sue on the employee's behalf. If it decides not to represent the employee, it will issue a “right-to-sue” letter and the employee can then bring a lawsuit against the employer. Sex discrimination claims are the second most frequently filed complaint with the EEOC under Title VII, just behind race discrimination.