The gender of a person performing work doesn’t matter at all for most jobs. While certain career paths are historically associated with one gender or another, that doesn’t mean that there is a natural or biological advantage to either gender in specific lines of work. People of either gender have the right to pursue any line of work they desire.
Unfortunately, some employers still apply gender biases to their hiring, advancement, compensation and termination decisions. They may systemically refuse to promote members of a certain gender above a certain rank within the company or turn a blind eye to a culture of harassment that makes much of the staff feel uncomfortable.
When talking about sexual harassment or sexual discrimination at work, it is common for people to imagine women as the victims. Although women do suffer discrimination and harassment at work, they are not the only ones. Men can also experience harassment at work because of their gender. Men who encounter career issues related to their gender could have the right to take legal action against their employers.
Title VII protections ensure employees a safe work environment
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 helps to ensure that no one should be the victim of sex-based discrimination in the workplace. So long as at least 15 people work for your employer, these rules apply to them!
Whether an employer habitually discriminates against one gender or has permitted one or more employees to experience ongoing harassment at work, this could constitute a violation of the employees’ civil rights. Most companies have human resources departments with specific procedures in place for employees with complaints regarding sex-based discrimination or harassment.
Men as well as women are allowed to avail themselves of these protections and complaint processes. The protections of Title VII do not only apply to women. Instead, they apply to anyone who experiences harassment or discrimination at work because of their gender.
Whether your complaint went unhandled or you got fired, you have rights
Some companies are likely to ignore or minimize complaints related to sexual harassment or discrimination. They may do this to protect the people engaging in harassment and discriminatory practices, or they may do it out of an internal bias that says that only women can be victims of harassment.
Some companies will go so far as to retaliate against employees who report harassment or discrimination. If you started receiving poor performance reviews after a harassment complaint or if your company fired you shortly after you attempted to make a report, you may be the victim of employer retaliation.
Documenting your employer’s behavior is an important step toward protecting yourself. So, too, is speaking with and employment law attorney who can help you hold your employer accountable.