Do gender discrimination and sexual harassment intersect?

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2021 | Firm News

Workers shouldn’t ever have to deal with harassment or discrimination based on their gender or the perception of their gender. Unfortunately, there are many times when employers don’t take steps to protect people from those types of behaviors. 

There are many ways that these types of situations can occur. While many people might confuse sexual harassment and gender discrimination, these are two vastly different meanings. They may intersect in some cases. 

What’s the difference between these two concepts?

Sexual harassment has to do with unwanted sexual advances or remarks. Gender harassment deals with negative actions based on a person’s gender or gender identity. These can intersect when an employee is harassed because of their gender identity. These situations can become volatile and don’t have any place at all in the workplace. 

An example of this intersection is if a worker is non-binary and a supervisor uses that fact to make sexually charged jokes about the worker. It continues to carry over if the supervisor refuses to promote the worker simply because of their gender orientation and because the employee refuses to engage with them in a sexual manner. 

Not all cases involve a supervisor. They can also involve co-workers, customers, vendors and others who come into contact with a company’s employees while they’re working. 

Anyone who’s having issues with any type of toxic work environment based on their gender should learn about their options to deal with the problems. Federal and state laws provide specific protections, so you do have rights. Working with someone familiar with these laws is beneficial so that you can minimize your stress.