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Gender Discrimination, Harassment, and Hostile Work Environments

Assignment Details

Harassment of any kind has no place in the workplace. If you are an employer subject to federal anti-discrimination laws, you have a legal obligation to provide a work environment that is free from intimidation, insult, or ridicule based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. You must also be concerned with preventing harassment because you can sometimes be sued in state courts, depending on your state's anti-discrimination laws.

Therefore, take steps to prevent and deal with sexual and other types of harassment in your workplace. As an employer, you may be held liable for your own acts of harassment that affect employees in the workplace, as well as the acts of your managers, employees, and even harassment by customers, suppliers, and others who regularly do business with you.

Your manager would like you help in developing a training program. As such, he has requested you to evaluate the applicable laws and add a section to the employee handbook. Draft a section for the employee handbook (minimum of 5 page) that addresses the following:

  • Gender discrimination

  • Sex discrimination

  • Harassment

  • Hostile workplace

Gender Discrimination, Harassment, and Hostile Work Environments


Employment and Labor Laws have a provision that employers need to protect their employees against any forms of injustice at work. they state against discrimination in all forms, gender, sex, religion, race, nationality, age, and disability. They are protected against any forms of harassment like sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional. They urge employees to keep the work environment conducive for employee work. in addition, they hold employers liable for the injustice and unfairness employees suffer in the organization. This pushes employers to be vigilant and fair in handling any cases reported at work. the paper highlights a few provisions to guide employees in seeking justice when subjected to the three prohibited areas.

Gender Discrimination, Harassment, and Hostile Work Environments

The employment and Labor Laws are heavily advocating for equal and fair treatment and work for all employees. The laws outline the precautions and disciplinary measures that come with unfairness and inequality at work. this is to urge employees to seek justice when they face them and for employers to prevent such cases on their premises. However, that is not always the case in most workplaces as elements of inequality or unfairness have been reported and many cases heard of. Some are never reported. The inequality at work arises due to various factors that employees may be subjected to. The widely known factors are discrimination; age, gender, sex, race and sometimes disability, sexual harassment, and a hostile environment.

Gender and Sex discrimination

Gender discrimination is a form of discrimination at work where some employees are treated unfairly or subjected to unfair treatment due to their gender. In most of these cases, the female employees suffer more. One of the ways they get treated unfairly is through sexual harassment, unequal payment, and a hostile work environment. Some will report the cases while others may not due to embarrassment, threats, or ignorance. Gender discrimination is unfair as highlighted in the employment and labor laws. Any employee subjected to this should be free to report to the management and seek justice. They are also free to seek court involvement if matters go out of hand and are unsolved by the companies (Cihon & Castagnera, 2019).

Sex discrimination is another form of discrimination at work where someone is treated differently because of their sexuality or sexual orientation. This happens when an employee who belongs to an LGBTQ community may face unfavorable treatment and injustice at work since he or she has a different sexual orientation from what is taken as a norm. Some forms of this discrimination are heteronormativity where being attracted to the opposite gender is normal, homophobia, and heterosexism. Employees subjected to this form of discrimination feel pressure at work and stressed due to mental and emotional torture.

Discrimination at work whether gender, sex, or others like age, nationality, religion, and race is never to be condoned. The disciplinary measures need the employee subjected to it must seek justice. During the disciplinary measures, the claim made will be evaluated based on the three categories stated by the Equal Opportunity Rights Act of 1972. The three include A Bona Fide Occupational Qualification where race, color, nationality, sex, or religion when is a justifiable requirement for the specific job. Secondly, the tests for hiring and promotion used by employers have violated on-job performance criteria. Thirdly, employers use seniority and performance appraisal systems to discriminate against employees violating Title VII (MUSE, 2022).

The employees claiming to be subjected to discrimination also have to provide undisputed proof since discrimination is hard to prove. Some especially sexual harassment can be argued off based on the consent aspect. To prove this, the employees follow four approaches. The first is the Disparate Rejection rate; comparing the rejection rate between minority groups and other groups. The rate should be 80% of the group with the highest selection rate. Secondly, a restricted policy where evidence shows the employer's use of a selection policy that excludes participation of the protected groups. The third approach is population comparison where the percentage of the protected class at work is compared to that of the protected class in the community. Lastly is the statistical evidence where statistical analysis is used to show the underrepresentation of the protected group (MUSE, 2022).


Harassment involves subjecting the employees to harsh treatment at work like insults, mockery, and threats that make them uncomfortable at work. Sometimes it gets physical, sexual, or verbal. The most common form of harassment at work is sexual harassment. Some of the reasons may be due to retaliation, sexual desires, discrimination, inferiority syndrome, or hatred. Sexual harassments involve sexual advances, and visual forms, like videos, comments, or intimacy for employees. It is mostly done by the managers and leaders at work. Verbal harassments are the use of written or verbal forms of making harsh comments to an employee. Sometimes they are insults, mockery, or overboard comments. In physical harassment, employees may be physically abused with beatings, threats, and destroying their valuables.

According to Title VII, the employer should protect the employees against any form of sexual harassment at work; whether from managers, customers, or other stakeholders. An employee can seek protection against sexual harassment if they believe the behavior or actions they go through must be put up with it to keep the job, employment decisions depend on their response to the advances and if they are offended or intimidated by the unwanted activity hence affects their work negatively. If any employee goes through this, they have to report and the behavior stopped immediately. The disciplinary measures for harassment are documented verbal warning, written warning, suspension, or termination depending on the extent or type of the offense. However, an employee can undergo all four disciplinary measures in case he or she has been reported on previous and several offenses. If they do not take the warnings seriously and keep up with their behavior, they may end up with termination (Barth, 2016).

Hostile work environment

According to the Employment and Labor laws, the employer has to ensure the employers are under safe and conducive working conditions. In this case, the employee’s safety and health issues must be considered as well as their emotional and mental welfare. A hostile working environment can come as a result of negligence on the side of an employer which makes the working conditions unfavorable. Sometimes it is a form of retaliation that is meant to punish the employee for their actions especially when the law is involved. A hostile environment can also be a result of discrimination at work.

Retaliation is a situation where employees are subjected to harsh treatment at work or sometimes ignored, overworked, or pressured at work due to their actions that put a manager or company in a difficult spot. Such includes whistleblowing. Whistleblowers face some harsh treatment and some are even made to quit their jobs. However, the law protects the whistleblowers especially the confidentiality of the information and their identity. They also help whistleblowers in reinstatement at work, back pay, legal costs, and compensatory damages (Cihon & Castagnera, 2019). Some employees who had reported their seniors or managers for sexual harassment or discrimination pushing them t disciplinary actions also face retaliation. Such cases need to be reported and corrective measures are taken.

Employers who neglect their duty to a safe and conducive work environment will also be held liable for their negligence. Employers are held liable for any form of sexual harassment, and discrimination their employees go through in their organization, or what their customers, suppliers, and managers do to their employees. This is because they have a responsibility to keep their employees safe and give them a favorable work environment. They cater for the compensation of any emotional, physical, or health damage, the employees incur while at work due to the listed illegal actions. If an employee at work feels their evaluation for promotion and compensation is harsher than others they can seek justice. Any form of verbal and physical hostility like threats should be reported and necessary disciplinary measures are taken.

In conclusion, discrimination, harassment, and hostility are opposed under the employment and labor laws. Employers must protect their employees from harassment, discrimination, and hostility in their place of work. Title VII and Equal Opportunity Rights Act protect employees from harassment and discrimination at work. employers are liable for hostility, harassment, and discrimination their employees are subjected to at work hence they should take necessary measures.


Barth, S. C. (2016). Hospitality law: Managing legal issues in the hospitality industry (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Cihon, P. J., & Castagnera, J. O. (2019). Employment and Labor Law (10th Edition). Cengage Learning US.

MUSE. (2020). Equal Employment and the Law.

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