What’s the Difference Between Sex Discrimination and Gender Identity Discrimination? By Dan Atkerson on December 11, 2015

Male Female SymbolsSex discrimination and gender identity discrimination are fairly similar, and the EEOC has even come out saying that gender identity is covered under sex discrimination. However, there is no specific clause in the constitution prohibiting workplace discrimination based on gender identity. Only 17 states and various cities have expressly banned gender identity discrimination.

What Is Gender Identity Discrimination?

Gender identity refers to the gender a person identifies with, and includes forms of expression such as clothing, mannerisms, appearance, etc. In states and cities that have laws against gender identity discrimination, making employment decisions like hiring, firing, promoting, demoting, and so on based on the person’s gender identity is illegal.

What Does Gender Identity Discrimination Look Like?

People who are currently transitioning gender or have already transitioned and may experience discrimination in a number of ways. Some examples include:
  • Harassment – Inappropriate jokes, slurs, or threats for example constitute sexual harassment.
  • Dress Codes – Employees in a state or city that prohibits gender identity discrimination should be allowed to conform to the dress codes for the gender with which they identify.
  • Pronouns – Sometimes, slips of the tongue are not intentional or malicious, but intentionally and repeatedly calling a transgender person by the wrong pronoun may constitute discrimination.
  • Paperwork Issues – After transitioning, many people will want their paperwork to accurately reflect their gender, meaning that refusal to update the paperwork may also be discrimination.
  • Restrooms – The restroom issue became the banner for opposition to Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance. Requiring an employee to use a restroom that does not conform to the gender with which they identify is also illegal in cities that ban gender identity discrimination, such as Dallas.

Related to This

Dan Atkerson

Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Dan A. Atkerson has been protecting the rights of North Texas employees for over nearly four decades. He is affiliated with several prestigious legal organizations, including: 

  • The State Bar of Texas
  • The Dallas Bar Association
  • The United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit
  • Texas Supreme Court and all Texas trial and appellate courts
  • Texas federal courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas

Through aggressive, knowledgeable representation, he has helped clients all over the state reach significant verdicts and settlements. To schedule a consultation at our law firm, request an appointment online or call us at (214) 383-3606.

Get In Touch

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite