Gender discrimination can take many forms. Sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and unequal treatment in conditions and terms of employment are common types. Although women are most often the victims of gender discrimination, the law equally protects men.
State and federal law prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender. Various laws protect against unequal pay, discriminatory treatment, and bias against pregnant employees. In general, it is only permissible to make an employment decision based on gender, or a gender-specific characteristic such as pregnancy, when being a specific gender is a bona fide occupational qualification for the position. Thus, for example, it may be permissible for an agency to hire only women as nurses at a halfway house for young women, though not necessarily so. This is the exception, not the norm. It is strictly impermissible to make employment decisions based on stereotypes of women or men.
The Law Office of Joseph L. Sulman offers expert legal representation in the area of gender discrimination in the workplace. Please also visit the Boston Employment Discrimination Blog for updates about the latest developments in employment discrimination law.