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Los Angeles Attorneys Fight for Victims of Gender Harassment

Practiced, zealous and effective representation throughout California since 2001

While sexual harassment is the most common outlet for workplace harassment, nonsexual gender harassment can also create a hostile work environment and lead to negative employment actions. This provocation arises from co-workers, supervisors, employers or potential employers who have gender biases. Our lawyers at The Ruttenberg Law Firm, PC have extensive experience protecting the rights of employees throughout California. When your employer fails to protect you from gender bias, we quickly and aggressively intervene to secure relief and justice for you.

What is gender harassment?

Gender harassment is any type of harassment directed at an employee based on that employee’s:

  • Gender identity or expression, including transgender and other gender nonconformities
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions

Unlike sexual harassment, it does not require sexually suggestive language or conduct or demands for sexual favors.

Gender harassment is a form of discrimination that often takes the form of disparaging comments, jokes or negative stereotypes about an individual’s gender. Examples of comments that can amount to gender harassment are:

  • Women are not smart enough or strong enough to do a job
  • Women should stay at home and have babies and leave work to men
  • Pregnant women are too emotional to work
  • Fathers who take family leave are not real men

“Sex-plus” policies represent another form of gender harassment. This occurs when employees are classified on the basis of their gender, plus another characteristic such as marital status, existence of pregnancy, parenthood status, race or age. Based on sex-plus characteristics, employers make discriminatory employment decisions about hiring, firing or demoting and use the specific employee’s features as a basis for harassment.

Gender harassment can also take the form of an inappropriate dress code, such as requiring women to wear skirts instead of slacks. California law provides that all employees be allowed to wear pants, regardless of gender, unless the business has an exemption from the Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) or requires uniforms or costumes as an element of employment.

If you believe that your employer is taking any of these actions that may constitute gender harassment, our attorneys are dedicated to using our skills, experience and passion for justice to help you find relief.

Gender harassment can affect anyone including LGBTQ individuals

Gays, lesbians, transgender individuals and others with nonconforming sexual identities, expressions and orientation are particularly at risk of gender harassment. Perhaps the worst plight is that of transgender employees, half of whom reported in a recent survey that they were the victims of gender harassment. A transgender individual is someone whose existing gender identity differs from the one with which they were born.

A 2017 California statute expanded the state’s protections against gender harassment to include transgender employees. These protections include:

  • Prohibiting discrimination or harassment against anyone who has transitioned, is transitioning or is believed to be transitioning to a different gender
  • Allowing employees to use bathrooms and other facilities that correspond to their gender identity or expression
  • Prohibiting grooming or dress codes that are inconsistent with employees’ gender identities or expressions

An employer may not use business necessity as an excuse for ignoring these provisions. If you are a member of the LGBTQ or transgender community, we will fight to protect your rights against gender harassment.

Hardworking, caring harassment attorneys in Los Angeles with the practical experience to help you win

Gender harassment negatively affects everyone — the victim, the victim’s co-workers and our society as a whole — when we lose valuable workers. At The Ruttenberg Law Firm, PC in Los Angeles, California, we are passionate about helping employees resolve harassment issues. We offer a free initial consultation and do not charge an attorney’s fee unless and until we resolve your case. To learn more about our services, contact us online or call (310) 979-7080 today.