- Refusing to hire, or firing, or otherwise acting against a worker’s condition of employment and compensation based on the employee’s sex;
- Segregating, restricting, or classifying an employee in such a way that the employee’s opportunities for advancement are limited based on the employee’s sex;
- Refusing admission or enrollment in any training or apprenticeship program based on the employee’s sex;
- Retaliating against an employee who has opposed discriminatory employment practices under Title VII or participated in an investigation or proceeding under Title VII;
- Publishing almost any employment advertisement notice indicating a preference based on sex; and
- Discriminating against an employee because he or she associates with another individual of a particular sex.
There is an exception to these prohibitions, in that employers are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sex “in those certain instances where … sex … is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise.”
The anti-discrimination provisions of Title VII also prohibit harassment against an employee on the basis of sex. This can mean the creation of fostering of a hostile work environment in which the employee is routinely made to feel uncomfortable. Importantly, employers can also be found liable for third-party harassment or harassment by other employees, if the employer can be shown to have condoned, or at least not taken seriously, the employee’s claims of being sexually harassed. Employers have an affirmative obligation to investigate and put an end to any sexual harassment experienced by their employees, even if they are not directly responsible for it.
It is important to note that federal law does not include sexual orientation as a protected class. Although some states have adopted laws making it one, Texas has not. Discrimination on the basis of martial status or parental status is also not prohibited under federal or Texas law; however, employers who enact a workplace policy affecting parents have to treat mothers and fathers equally or else run afoul of Title VII’s sex discrimination provisions.
If you suspect you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of sex, one of our Dallas sex discrimination attorneys may be able to answer your questions about your specific case. Contact our dedicated Dallas employment law firm today for a free initial consultation. Simply fill out the form on this page and we will get back to you as soon as possible.