Firing an employee because of their gender is illegal. It falls under gender discrimination and is prohibited in federal and state law. The term “gender” expands beyond “male” and “female.” In fact, the Supreme Court re-determined how gender plays a role in workplace discrimination as recently as 2020, making it all the more important to understand your rights as an employee.
Gender discrimination, or what the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission refers to as sex-based discrimination, is illegal. Learn more about this type of discrimination, including how it can cause a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Gender discrimination in the workplace is one of the most common examples of illegal employment activities. It is described as unfair treatment of an employee based on his or her sex. This can apply to many aspects of employment, including:
- Pay and benefits.
- Workplace policies.
- Job advertisements.
- Hiring policies.
- Required testing for new employees.
- Assignments and promotions.
All of the above practices must be issued, distributed or applied to all employees fairly and equally, regardless of gender.
For example, an employer cannot refuse to provide job applications to people of a certain gender or sexual identity.
In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that gender discrimination applies to discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. This means that an employer cannot fire an employee for being gay, bisexual or transgender.
The law makes it legal for employees to file wrongful termination lawsuits on the grounds of discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Prior to this law, more than half of all U.S. states would not hear such cases in court because employers were legally within their right to fire employees who identify as part of the LGBTQ community.