What is sex stereotyping discrimination?

Sex or gender stereotyping occurs when an employer discriminates against an employee because the employee does not conform to gender stereotypes. Discrimination based on sex or gender stereotyping can be more difficult to recognize than other forms of sex-based discrimination. However the effects on the employee are similar.

Sex or gender stereotyping is a form of sex-based discrimination. A claim of sex or gender discrimination arises when an employee suffers any adverse employment action (such as termination or demotion) due to their sex or gender.

Sex or gender stereotyping may also result in a hostile work environment claim. A hostile work environment claim arises when the behavior of others in the workplace creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. To successfully bring a claim, an employee must show that the workplace harassment is “severe or pervasive” such that it alters the conditions of their employment. Notably, an employer may be liable for allowing a hostile work environment to persist, even if a supervisor or manager was not the one responsible for the behavior giving rise to the hostile work environment. However, to succeed on such a claim, an employee must show that the employer knew about the harassing conduct and failed to take any steps to put a stop to it.

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