Articles Posted in Sex


Readers of this blog know that the EEOC recently finalized its new workplace harassment guidance and that one of the contentious issues in the guidance, according to a dissenting EEOC Commissioner, is the EEOC’s position that misgendering an employee, e.g., by consistently using the wrong pronouns, can violate Title VII. Continue reading


Suppose an employer transfers an employee, and that employee believes that unlawful bias fueled the decision. Does that transfer have to significantly disadvantage that employee to give rise to a discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

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A white man filed a lawsuit against a company claiming that it denied him a high-six-figure executive position because of his race, age, and sex so that the company could search for more diverse candidates. Among the causes of action he asserted was one for race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. A plaintiff suing under Section 1981 for a failure to hire must establish that “but for” his race, he would have gotten the job.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold up. Continue reading


The words “cisgender” or “non-transgender” employee appear nowhere in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal workplace law that outlaws gender discrimination. But, according to a Pennsylvania federal judge, “that does not preclude the possibility that discrimination against both a cisgender male and cisgender female may be independent Title VII violations.”

I’ll explain why. Continue reading

I’m going to tell you about a transgender man who worked for three years as a sergeant for a state prison. While working at the prison, he began the process of medically and socially transitioning to align with his gender identity. He underwent hormone replacement therapy, obtained a legal name change, and decided to live openly as a man.

Since he had to disclose his gender identity at work, the employee contacted Human Resources. On a phone call with the HR director, during which the employer inquired if he “had the surgery,” the employee could hear people laughing.

As others learned about the man’s transition, he endured what the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals described as “constant and humiliating harassment.”

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In 2022, Florida passed The Individual Freedom Act. But most people know this law as the “Stop W.O.K.E. Act,” which stands for “Stop the Wrongs to our Kids and Employees.”

Whatever we call it, the Act says employers cannot subject “any individual, as a condition of employment,” to “training, instruction, or any other required activity that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels” a certain set of beliefs. The list of banned subjects generally relates to “woke” teachings on race, color, sex, or national origin. Florida employers can host these trainings but cannot require employees to attend them.

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In most places, a plaintiff who claims that their former employer sexually harassed them must establish that the conduct to which they were subjected was severe or pervasive enough to alter the conditions of employment and create a hostile or abusive work environment.

In New York, however, not so much. Continue reading


Federal agencies, like the U.S. Department of Justice, often publish news releases touting their lawsuits and significant judgments against employer scofflaws.

But, I know a big one — a $1.2M judgment — that the DOJ will want to forget. Continue reading

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