Sexual discrimination

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
There are both state and federal laws stating that you cannot be denied employment due to your gender. Specifically, an employer cannot refuse to hire or promote you for a job for which you are qualified based upon your gender. One form of gender discrimination is sexual harassment. You have the right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can take two forms. One is when the employment is expressly or implicitly conditioned upon your participation in another employee's demands for sexual favors. An example of this form of harassment is when your employer or supervisor states that if you don't engage in sexual acts with him or her, you will be fired, demoted or denied a promotion. The second form of gender discrimination is when unwelcome sexual conduct unreasonably interferes with an employee's job performance or creates a hostile or offensive working environment. Sexual harassment in a hostile environment need not be directed at you, but must be done in your presence, such as telling sexual jokes or displaying sexually-suggestive materials in your place of employment. It is important that your conduct and behavior not invite or encourage sexual harassment. Any employer who commits or condones either gender discrimination or sexual harassment is subject to a civil lawsuit. There are, however, administrative remedies that must be exhausted under both state and federal law before bringing an action in court. For more information on sexual discrimination, consult with an attorney.

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