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Discrimination Attorneys

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Sex Discrimination (Title VII)

Sex discrimination and harassment in the workplace is covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The discrimination attorneys at Banik & Renner advocate for persons suffering from sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation.

You are covered under Title VII if:

  • Your employer has 15 or more employees
  • You receive different job opportunities or other employees have been treated more favorably because of your gender or sexual preference
  • You have been harassed by a supervisor, co-worker, any other employee or a client, customer or supplier of your employer and the harassment was related to your gender or sexual preference
  • You have suffered an adverse employment action because of your gender or sexual preference
It is unlawful to harass a person because of that person's gender or sexual preference.  Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature such as inappropriate unwelcomed touching.  Harassment does not have to be against you personally.  For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.  Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can even be of same sex in some instances.

Although the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, a bad joke, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).  The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area or department, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

Discrimination can be based on being treated less favorably than others because of your gender or sexual preference.

It may be a violation of Title VII if your employer:

  • Treats you differently by failing or refusing to interview you, hire you or by discharging you because of your gender or sexual preference
  • Discriminates against you in terms of pay, benefits, working conditions, or other privileges of employment, because of your gender or sexual preference
  • Limits your opportunities or classifies you in such a way that deprives you of opportunities or status as an employee because of your sex
  • Discriminates by paying you less than similarly situated employees of another gender or sexual preference
  • Discriminates or retaliates against you for reporting your own or other’s workplace age discrimination, including testifying, assisting or participating in an investigation, proceeding or litigation based on age discrimination
  • Issues warnings, write-ups or Performance Improvement Plans because of your gender or sexual preference
  • Has an employment policy or practice that applies to everyone, regardless of sex however, 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
For more information regarding sex discrimination see:

At Banik & Renner, our sex discrimination attorneys represent employees in matters involving workplace violations of Title VII.  Whether you are still employed and experiencing discrimination or you have been fired or forced to quit, we can:
  • Help present your concerns to your employer more effectively
  • Deal with the harassing boss or co-worker
  • Learn how to document  the discrimination and harassment
  • Assist you in understanding how to communicate with your employer to minimize the risk of jeopardizing your job
  • Assist you in negotiating a separation package to bridge the time until your next job or retirement eligibility
  • Help address harassment and discrimination issues before the employer/employee relationship is so damaged that it is destroyed
Understand the benefits and protections you are entitled to under the law.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

Why choose Banik & Renner?

  • Individualized service with no assembly line representation
  • The lawyer you meet with is the lawyer who represents you
  • We are local attorneys who have practiced in the community since graduation from Notre Dame Law School three decades ago
  • We attend seminars and remain current in our areas of practice
  • We ask questions and we really listen to your answers to help you
  • We will not “hard sell” you on our representation
  • We explain your options in words you can understand or keep trying until you do

What do I need to do before meeting with an Attorney?

  • Write down a list of all the events that have occurred related to the discrimination you have experienced at work including the date, who was involved and what happened
  • If you have received warnings, write-ups, a Performance Improvement Plan or received any written communication from your employer, bring those documents with you

How do I contact Banik & Renner?

Click here to contact us or call 574.293.7170 for more information or to schedule a CONSULTATION

Sex Discrimination Frequently Asked Questions

How do I report what is happening to me?
IN WRITING!  Follow the procedure outlined in your employee manual. While most manuals will suggest you alert your supervisor, you can always report to your company’s Human Resource Department.  Keep in mind that you must use your name, and you must communicate in writing via email or at least a letter that is hand delivered. Keep copies of any such communication.  Trying to report anonymously or saying that you don’t want the situation investigated is not going to help.

What should I say?
It is critical to document the “who, what, where, when, why and how” when discrimination, harassment, or retaliation occur and to provide the company with detailed information they can use to properly respond. If there are emails that support what you are reporting, print and include them.  Saying something “always happens” or “everybody knows he is like that” is not going to make your complaint credible.  Provide well documented facts to help your employer understand what is happening and why the company should do something about it.

The person harassing me, discriminating against me and making my life miserable is my boss and I am afraid that if I report what is happening I will be fired or retaliated against.
If you do not report the discrimination it is not going to stop.  If you have reported it and feel that you are being retaliated against for telling, report the retaliation, IN WRITING!  Retaliation for reporting or questioning workplace sex discrimination is prohibited by the law.  At Banik & Renner we can help you communicate your employer.  We help clients understand their rights, what is considered discrimination, harassment or retaliation and help explore your options. By   understanding the law and being your advocate Banik & Renner may be able to assist you in retaining your employment or negotiating for your successful separation.

I don’t want to sue my employer.  Is there a reason to meet with an attorney?
Yes, it is important to meet with an attorney experienced in sex discrimination even if you are still employed and do not want to sue your employer. Understanding the law and your rights empowers you to take appropriate action.  Meeting with an attorney before the situation becomes a crisis is the best thing an individual experiencing discrimination can do. If you don’t understand what you are entitled to under the law, you have no bargaining power in any situation.


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