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Sex/Gender Discrimination

Despite the number of laws against discrimination, sex-based discrimination in the workplace is not uncommon, and the worst part is that it has become even harder to detect. However, our attorneys pride themselves in taking on even the most challenging discrimination cases. At Sethi & Mazaheri, our attorneys represent employees who have been discriminated in violation of both New York and New Jersey employment discrimination laws as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the Equal Pay Act.


If you believe you have been treated unfairly, passed up for a promotion, suspended, or laid off due to your gender, consult with our attorneys regarding your sex-based discrimination claim.

What Is Sex-Based Discrimination?

Sex-based or gender discrimination occurs when an individual is treated unfavorably due to their sex. Sex-based discrimination also occurs when an individual is sexually harassed in the workplace due to stereotypes.


Sexual orientation discrimination, similar to gender discrimination, occurs when an individual who identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual is denied equal employment opportunities due to their sexual orientation. Examples of harassment include offensive remarks, racial slurs, or comments of a sexual nature. Please note that in order to constitute harassment, these instances must be frequent and severe enough to create a hostile work environment.  Sex-based discrimination generally falls into four categories:


  • Quid pro quo – sexual harassment is linked to either the granting or denial of a benefit

  • Hostile work environment – sexual harassment has become so frequent and perverse that it interferes with the individual’s employment

  • Disparate treatment – employees are not treated the same due to their gender or sexual orientation

  • Disparate impact – policies have a negative effect on employees of a specific gender or sexual orientation


Quid Pro Quo harassment usually involves sexual advances that require an employee to submit to these advances as a condition to his/her employment. It is also known as quid pro quo harassment when an employee is demoted, suspended, or fired for refusing to submit to these sexual innuendos.


Even if you’re a third party (i.e. your employment was adversely affected due to someone else’s submission to sexual advances), you may also file a claim.


Hostile work environment harassment differs from quid pro quo harassment in that the victim’s employment does not have to depend on the harassing conduct. Furthermore, the discriminatory action(s) does not need to be on behalf of someone in an authoritative capacity. In order to establish hostile work environment harassment, however, the conduct must be frequent and severe to the point that it interferes with the victim’s employment.

Can Discrimination Occur At Any Time?
Yes. Sex-based discrimination can occur at any time – from the day one applies to the day one is demoted, fired, suspended, etc. Even if you feel you’ve been discriminated in the application process, you’re entitled to file a sex-based discrimination claim.

May I Only File Claims Against My Employer?
An individual may file a complaint against anyone, including clients, customers, and employees who are not in a management capacity.


Individuals may also challenge an employer’s policies and/or practices that serve no other purpose other than to target employees of a specific sex.

What If My Employer Retaliates Against Me For Filing A Complaint?
It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for claiming they have been discriminated against on the basis of their gender or sexual orientation.

What Are My Remedies?
Victims of sex-based discrimination may sue economic damages, including lost wages and/or benefits; injunctive relief, including reinstatement if they were terminated; as well as compensatory and punitive damages for emotional distress. In certain cases, victims might be able to sue for attorneys’ fees and litigation costs.

When Should I File A Complaint? 
The EEOC generally requires an individual to file a complaint within 180 days of the most recent discriminatory act. However, individuals are encouraged to file a complaint as soon as possible.
Federal employees, on the other hand, must contact an EEO Counselor within 45 days.


Contact Us Now

If you believe you've been treated unfairly, passed up for a promotion, suspended, or laid off due to gender or sexual orientation, please feel free to contact Sethi & Mazaheri by calling 646-397-1287 today.



Locations :

NY Office:

26 Broadway, 21st Floor

New York, NY 10004

Phone: 646-405-9846

NJ Location:

121 Newark Ave., 5th Floor

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Phone: 201-606-2267

VA Office: 

1727 King St., #300

Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: 703-791-9279

(Federal immigration practice only)

Sethi & Mazaheri
26 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10004
Broadway New York 10004 USA 646.397.1287
9 Polifly Road, 2nd Floor, Hackensack, NJ 07601
Hackensack New Jersey 07601 USA 201-606-2267
2050 Ballenger Ave., Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314
Alexandria Virginia 22314 USA 703.791.9279