Sex Based Discrimination

Sex Based Discrimination

On July 21, 2014 President Obama signed an executive order adding "gender identity" as a protected class to Executive Order (E.O.) 11478. E.O. 11478 prohibits discrimination against federal employees based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age and sexual orientation. E.O. 13087 amended E.O 11478 to prohibit discrimination against federal employees on the basis of sexual orientation but did not include gender identity. The EEO Commission treats gender identity and sexual orientation complaints as a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Sex discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person's sex. Discrimination against an individual because that person is transgender is discrimination because of sex is in violation of Title VII. This is also known as gender identity discrimination. In addition, lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals may bring sex discrimination claims. These may include, for example, allegations of sexual harassment or other kinds of sex discrimination, such as adverse actions taken because of the person's non-conformance with sex-stereotypes.

The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. It is unlawful to harass a person because of that person's sex. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person's sex.

An employment policy or practice that applies to everyone, regardless of sex, can be illegal if it has a negative impact on the employment of people of a certain sex and is not job-related or necessary to the operation of the business.

Complaints of discrimination (including harassment) based on sexual orientation or gender identity may be made to all of the following individuals:

  • Your supervisor or manager
  • The NPS EEO Office
  • The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) at (800) 872-9855 or visit OSC website at