What should I know about filing a sex discrimination complaint?

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2020 | Sex Discrimination |

Work-based discrimination complaints should always go to your supervisor, manager or boss first. However, after making that report, you will need to make another complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to seek federal protection.

The EEOC explains that federal law for protection against sexual discrimination covers you if your employer has at least 15 employees.


Sex-based or sexual discrimination is when someone treats you in a negative manner because of your gender identity, sex or sexual orientation. It can occur in the course of any employment activity, such as promotions, firing, job assignments, benefits and hiring.


Sex discrimination may also occur as harassment. Isolated incidents do not fall under this category and do not break federal discrimination laws. Something must occur repeatedly so as to create a hostile work environment where you do not feel comfortable being at work.

It does not have to be sexual in nature. Even comments about your gender identity or sex can be sexual discrimination.


To be a harasser, a person does not have to be a different sex than you. Anyone can be guilty, even women harassing men.

It also does not have to be someone in a position of power. It can be anyone in your work environment, even a customer.


If you wish to file a complaint, you will have at least 180 days under federal guidelines to do so. There may be exceptions under state law that allow for more days. However, if you are a federal employee, you only have 45 days to make your report.


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