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Sexual discrimination defined

Sexual discrimination in any aspect of employment is against the law in Indiana and across the United States. This includes all areas of hiring, training, job assignments, promotion, benefits, firing and all other work-related conditions. Policies not necessary to the operation of a business that apply to all employees may even be considered discriminatory if they result in a negative effect on the employment of individuals of a particular sex.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sex-based discrimination as the unfavorable treatment of an employee or applicant because of that person's sex. Discrimination against someone due to their gender identity or sexual orientation and discrimination based on an individual's involvement with an organization largely associated with persons of a particular sex is prohibited under the same laws.

Sexual harassment is a major form of such discrimination and includes both unwanted sexual advances and offensive comments, whether sexual in nature or merely derogatory toward the individual's sex. It is still considered sexual harassment no matter whether the victim or the harasser is a man or a woman, and the restrictions still apply if they are both of the same sex. The title of the harasser is also immaterial. Harassment by coworkers, supervisors, customers and clients is equally illegal. It should be noted, however, that an isolated comment or teasing does not usually count as harassment since its illegality is restricted to harassment that is so frequent or severe that it results in either a hostile work environment or a victim's demotion or termination.

An individual who believes they have been the victim of gender discrimination may consider obtaining the representation of an employment discrimination attorney. With the assistance and advice of such an attorney, a victim of discrimination may be able to obtain the relief or monetary compensation for damages associated with the alleged discriminatory behaviors.

Source: US EEOC, "Sex-Based Discrimination", December 12, 2014

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