Are you experiencing sexual discrimination at your Kansas City workplace? Sex or gender discrimination is generally illegal, and can cause injury by denying jobs, equal pay, benefits, promotions, or other things associated with successful employment. By treating you differently in the workplace specifically because you are physically or biologically a woman or man, an employer demonstrates “sexual” discrimination. Doing the same thing based on behavioral characteristics (“masculinity” or “femininity”) is “gender” discrimination. A qualified Kansas City workplace sexual discrimination lawyer can help you understand your rights, guide you through the legal process, and fight for the justice and compensation you are entitled to. Even if there is no direct threat to your job, sexual harassment can also be considered a form of discrimination. Speak with a lawyer at Holman Schiavone, LLC. Please call us today at 816-320-6108.

A group of workers together.

Understanding Workplace Sexual Discrimination

Workplace sexual discrimination encompasses any form of discriminatory or harassing behavior or comments based on an employee’s sex or gender. A discrimination attorney can help victims navigate the legal process and seek justice. However, bear in mind that not all offensive behaviors qualify as sexual discrimination.

Sex discrimination occurs when an employer discriminates specifically based on an individual’s sex or gender, while sexual harassment constitutes a form of sex discrimination involving hostile, intimidating, or abusive sexual comments, actions, or conduct. Discrimination, in a broader context, occurs when a group of employees is treated differently due to their protected status or minority group membership, such as race discrimination.

Contrary to popular belief, any individual, regardless of their gender, can be a victim of sexual harassment. The harasser could be a co-worker, supervisor, or even a non-employee, such as a customer or client. Filing a sexual harassment claim can help address the issue and protect the victim’s rights.

Federal and State Laws

Federal and state laws are instrumental in shielding employees from sexual discrimination. These laws not only prohibit such behavior but also set guidelines on how employers should handle reported cases of discrimination.

Federal laws, such as Title IX of the Education Amendments, forbid discrimination based on sex in any program or activity that receives federal funding, thereby creating a structure to safeguard employees from workplace sexual discrimination. Remember, under federal law, a charge of sexual discrimination must be filed within a 300-day deadline. However, this deadline can be extended in cases where the discriminatory behaviors are part of a continuing violation that has occurred over a period of time.

State-specific laws also play a significant role. For instance, the Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits employers from engaging in discrimination based on protected categories such as:

  • race
  • gender
  • age
  • disability

In Kansas, the Kansas Statutes, specifically Section 44-1009, directly addresses Kansas City employment discrimination by defining prohibited forms of discrimination and offering guidance for employees and employers on the legal standards within the state.

Identifying Sexual Discrimination in the Workplace

The initial step in combating workplace sexual discrimination is recognizing its occurrence. It is defined as the unequal and unjust treatment of employees based on protected characteristics such as gender, often manifesting as unfair treatment. Instances of this can encompass disparities in compensation, prejudiced recruitment choices, and differential treatment in the context of promotions or performance appraisals.

Indicators of sexual discrimination in the workplace include:

  • derogatory comments
  • jokes related to gender
  • exclusion from meetings or projects
  • language that reinforces gender stereotypes
  • requirements or disciplinary actions that disproportionately affect one gender over another

Some of these indicators may be of a sexual nature, contributing to a hostile work environment.

Sexual harassment is considered illegal when it results in a hostile or offensive work environment, or when an individual faces retaliation, such as demotion or disciplinary action, for resisting such behavior. This can greatly contribute to a sexually discriminatory workplace.

Seeking legal counsel from a knowledgeable attorney from Holman Schiavone Law, LLC can help victims understand their rights and options.

Signs of a Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment resulting from sexual discrimination is defined by the presence of unwelcome sexually suggestive comments, gestures, advances, pictures, emails, texts, or physical touch. It is also considered hostile if the behavior is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an abusive work atmosphere.

Typical indicators of sexual discrimination in the workplace include:

  • Disparities in remuneration for similar roles
  • Unjust treatment
  • Disparaging remarks or humor
  • Exclusion on the basis of gender
  • Being viewed as less capable than colleagues of a different gender
  • Receiving fewer or less significant responsibilities
  • Being overlooked for advancements
  • Being pressured to perform sexual favors in exchange for career advancement or to avoid negative consequences.

Behaviors that could indicate a hostile work environment may encompass instances of:

  • discrimination
  • harassment
  • bullying
  • intimidation
  • unjustified criticism
  • sexual behaviors
  • racist comments
  • ageism
  • aggressive conduct
  • any other actions that contribute to an unhealthy workplace atmosphere.

The Right Legal Action for Your Unique Case

The impact that sexual discrimination can have on the victim’s life is profound. That is one reason why at Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we have focused our practice on helping employees confront employers who engage in, tolerate, or ignore illegal practices such as sexual discrimination.

Our skilled sexual discrimination attorneys can stand up for your rights, help you preserve a professional atmosphere at work, and ensure that your employer takes your complaint seriously. If your employer continues to fail in their duty to eliminate sexual discrimination, our experienced staff can help you decide which state or federal statute most closely addresses your situation and which agency you should contact to further pursue a remedy.

How to Take Legal Action Against Workplace Sexual Discrimination

Being a victim of workplace sexual discrimination necessitates an awareness of your rights and the measures you can take to pursue justice. Begin by gathering evidence and seeking out discrimination attorneys who have a proven history of advocating for victims, such as a specific discrimination lawyer from Holman Schiavone Law, LLC.

Before making an internal report, it’s recommended to consult or hire a sexual harassment attorney. This ensures that your concerns are effectively communicated and provides legal protection from higher management or human resources. This approach also aims to facilitate a prompt resolution of the issue and safeguard your rights.

If your internal complaint doesn’t lead to a satisfactory resolution, the typical next step is to file a formal charge with the state or federal government. If your company lacks a process for reporting harassment, consider pursuing legal action.

Compensation and Remedies for Victims of Sexual Discrimination

Various types of compensation may be available to victims of workplace sexual discrimination, including:

  • Compensatory and punitive damages
  • Injunctive relief
  • Lost wages
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Court costs
  • Settlements

However, there are limitations on punitive damages for victims of sexual discrimination in Kansas City. According to Missouri law, punitive damages are limited to five times the net amount of the judgment awarded or $500,000, whichever amount is lower. However, the final amount can vary significantly based on the unique circumstances of each case.

The amount awarded for emotional distress in sexual discrimination cases can be determined through testimony from the employee and their acquaintances regarding psychological injury, supported by evidence from medical professionals. In instances of intentional discrimination based on race, color, national origin, or sex, compensatory and punitive damages may also be granted.

Choosing the Right Kansas City Sexual Discrimination Lawyer

Various factors should be taken into consideration when choosing a lawyer for sexual discrimination in Kansas City. These include:

  • Experience in sexual discrimination law
  • Knowledge of federal and state laws
  • Reputation and reviews
  • Availability for a free consultation
  • Communication skills
  • Empathy toward your situation

A sexual harassment lawyer in Kansas City must possess specific legal experience. This ensures a deep understanding of sex and gender discrimination laws, as well as the ability to provide experienced representation for clients who have encountered such discrimination. Experience in sexual discrimination is essential for effectively navigating the complexities of these cases and advocating for the rights of the client.

Holman Schiavone, LLC: Your Trusted Kansas City Sexual Discrimination Lawyer

Holman Schiavone, LLC is committed to advocating for the rights of employees and promoting a workplace environment characterized by dignity, respect, and fairness. We provide services related to:

  • Employment law
  • Harassment
  • Sexual abuse
  • Personal injury

With a focus on sexual harassment cases against employers in Kansas and Missouri.

Victims often choose Holman Schiavone, LLC for their employment discrimination claims because of our firm’s:

  • Extensive experience
  • Compassion
  • Focus on protecting individual rights, particularly in workplace harassment cases
  • Tenacious approach in holding negligent parties accountable.

Our Approach to Sexual Discrimination Cases

Holman Schiavone, LLC is devoted to protecting our clients’ rights and attaining fair resolutions while dealing with sexual discrimination cases. We implement strategies including:

  • Documentation of discrimination incidents
  • Securing records away from the harasser’s access
  • Adherence to internal policies
  • Advocating for a comprehensive and equitable recovery for the victim.

Holman Schiavone, LLC employs a comprehensive approach that encompasses thorough investigations, evidence gathering, and meticulous examination of all facts to prioritize securing equitable opportunities for the victims. Upon receiving a new case, we collaborate with the client to meticulously document all incidents of discrimination, secure necessary records, adhere to internal complaint procedures with precision, and maintain comprehensive records of all pertinent communications to bolster the case. Our dedication to fighting for justice aligns with the principles of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Damage Compensation and Obtaining Justice

If you have suffered damage from sexual discrimination, it may also be appropriate to file a lawsuit for damages in a state or federal court. At Holman Schiavone, LLC, we have represented clients in sexual discrimination cases against both large and small employers in Missouri and Kansas. Our initial consultation is always free of charge, and we never charge legal fees until our client has won compensation.

For more information about what Holman Schiavone, LLC, can do for you, please call our Kansas City office at 816-320-6108, or email us to schedule a free initial consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you deal with sexual discrimination in the workplace?

If you experience sexual discrimination in the workplace, it is important to report the behavior to your employer’s HR department or a trusted supervisor. This is crucial for addressing the issue and protecting your rights.

What organization is against workplace discrimination?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is an organization that is against workplace discrimination, enforcing laws and protecting employees from unfair treatment.

What to do if you are being discriminated against in the workplace?

If you are facing workplace discrimination, inform your employer, request a written letter, keep detailed notes, and consult with an attorney. You can also file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Who may be considered a victim or a harasser in instances of workplace sexual discrimination?

Anyone, regardless of gender, can be a victim of sexual harassment, and the harasser could be a coworker, supervisor, or even a non-employee. It’s important to address all instances of workplace sexual discrimination.

What are the indicators that suggest the presence of sexual discrimination in the workplace?

Indicators of sexual discrimination in the workplace include derogatory comments, gender-related jokes, exclusion from meetings or projects, language reinforcing gender stereotypes, and unequal disciplinary actions. These can suggest the presence of sexual discrimination.