Sex discrimination and harassment takes many different forms. It can be subtle and unintentional, such as when a manager acts on subconscious bias or stereotypes. It can be extreme and intentional, such as repeated sexual comments and jokes, or conditioning of employment benefits on sexual favors.
The courts have created many legal terms of art to identify different theories of discrimination. For instance, quid pro quo harassment is a Latin term referring to the conditioning of employment benefits or detriments on sexual favors or a sexual relationship. The typical example is the employee is subjected to a demotion after refusing her supervisor's advances. Another term of art is "hostile environment" discrimination, referring to a workplace where sexual comments, pictures or attitudes are so severe and pervasive that they can be said to create different working conditions for women. Lawyers also distinguish between "disparate treatment cases," where a person or group of people are singled out because of sex, and "disparate impact" cases where a seemingly neutral policy affects people differently based on sex.
Employees should not just be left to guess, "Is this illegal?" when they experience subtle or even obvious forms of harassment. Analysis of a claim depends on many factors that vary depending on the type of harassment. Whatever type, our experienced team of employment lawyers knows the law and they know what it takes to prove your case. Contact our offices to set up a consultation.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us. From offices in Ann Arbor, Birmingham, Traverse City and Toledo, the attorneys of NachtLaw serve communities throughout the states of Michigan and Ohio.