Sex and Gender Discrimination

Although our society has made some progress on this front in recent years, sexism still permeates the workplace. Gender inequality, or the disparity in status and power between men and women, continues to exist today. Women continue to earn less than their male counterparts for doing the same job, to be passed over for important assignments and promotions, and to endure sexual harassment at work. Such sexist behavior and practices are detrimental to a woman’s occupational wellbeing and should not be tolerated.

Los Angeles sex and gender discrimination attorney Afshin Mozaffari is highly knowledgeable in the area of sex/gender discrimination law and can help you better understand how the law protects you.

Sex and gender discrimination and harassment in employment are prohibited under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Although sex and gender discrimination and harassment are typically associated with women, it is important to note that men and sexual minorities are protected too.

These laws protect workers from discrimination and harassment based on these traits:

  • Biological sex: female, male, intersex, other
  • Gender identity: woman, man, transgender, genderfluid, other
  • Gender expression: the presentation of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut, or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors typically associated with being either masculine or female
Equal Pay Laws

Wage discrimination based on sex is prevalent and there are laws that prohibit employers from engaging in this type of wrongdoing.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) is a federal law which makes it illegal for employers to pay women lower wages than men for equal work on jobs requiring the same skill, efforts, and responsibility.

California also has its own version of the EPA, the California Equal Pay Act, which is even more protective than federal law. Under California law, it is unlawful for an employer to pay its employees wage rates that are less than what it pays employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions. California law also prohibits wage differences on account of race or ethnicity.

“Substantially similar work” refers to work that is mostly similar in skill, effort, responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions. Skill refers to the experience, ability, education, and training required to perform the job. Effort refers to the amount of physical or mental exertion needed to perform the job. Responsibility refers to the degree of accountability or duties required in performing the job. Working conditions have been interpreted to mean the physical surroundings (temperature, fumes, ventilation) and hazards.

To prevail on a California Equal Pay Act claim, an employee must prove that he or she is being paid less than an employee or employees of the opposite sex, of another race, or of another ethnicity who is performing substantially similar work. Once an employee makes this showing, the employer must then prove that it has a legitimate reason for the pay difference.

Los Angeles sex and gender discrimination lawyer Afshin Mozaffari frequently prosecutes sex/gender discrimination cases and will use his expertise in putting forth your best case. If you believe you are being discriminated against because of your sex and/or gender, contact Mozaffari Law at 323.696.0702 or for a confidential consultation.