Like Federal Law, the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act prohibits employers from engaging in sex discrimination.
When an individual’s sex or gender influences an employment related action such as hiring, promotion, pay grade, or employment termination, the employer may be engaging in unlawful discrimination.
Sexual Harassment is a form of sex discrimination and involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, physical contact of a sexual nature, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, whether it is directed at an opposite or same sex victim.
Harassment Based on Sex or Gender
Harassment based on Sex or Gender (not gender identity) is also prohibited and involves abusive conduct directed against an employee based on their sex or gender sufficient enough that the employee is subject to an offensive or hostile work environment or that the harassment interferes with their work.
Pregnancy discrimination is a prevalent form of sex discrimination. Discriminating against an employee or job candidate on the basis of pregnancy, child birth, maternity leave or a related medical condition is unlawful.
Sexual Orientation Discrimination
An employer cannot discriminate against an employee who has a preference for heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality, having a history of such a preference, or being identified with such a preference. Sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination.
What to Do When Sex Discrimination Occurs
When someone suffers sex discrimination in the workplace, they look to company policies for formal complaint procedures which usually requires the employee to file a report with a supervisor or human resources. It is helpful to keep a journal of incidences of sex discrimination and what steps are taken and the responses received including any witnesses to the facts. Although an employee may worry that they will be subject to “blowback” if they report a problem, it is unlawful for an employee be retaliated against for opposing or registering a complaint about sex discrimination in the workplace.
If an employee continues to be subject to sex discrimination after making a complaint or retaliation in the form of harassment or job loss occurs, it is important to seek help. Contact Wisconsin employment discrimination attorney Alan C. Olson for immediate assistance at 262-785-9606.