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Gender discrimination at work can be a form of sexual harassment

In many cases, gender discrimination in the workplace is separate from sexual harassment. An employee can suffer either one or both of these federally prohibited activities in the North Carolina work environment.

Our attorneys want to make certain residents of the state understand both violations in terms of employment law. This understanding will make it easier for employees to identify any form of workplace mistreatment and take the proper course of action to secure a remedy.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) gender discrimination occurs if an employer mistreats an individual because of his or her gender. Examples include refusing to hire female workers or firing someone because he or she is transgendered.

Most people consider sexual harassment to be a separate violation. Examples of sexual harassment include making unwanted sexual advances toward a worker and making offensive remarks about women or men in general.

Under the nation's employment laws, there are differences between gender discrimination and sexual harassment. However, these two legal issues can, and often do, blend together. For example, employers that routinely promote men instead of equally qualified women are often violating both harassment and discrimination laws.

If employers fail to promote women (or men) solely because they will not give in to sexual demands, they are violating both areas of employment law. To make it clearer, if your boss says you can have a promotion as long as you agree to an intimate encounter, you are a victim of sexual harassment. Further, if your boss would not make the same demand to employees of different sexes, then it is a violation of gender discrimination as well.

We know these employment law issues are very complex. As such, we recommend taking your story to an attorney for clarification. This can help you sort out the details and identify illegal behaviors. You may also learn more by continuing to read our website and blog.

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