Employers in Maine are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of gender under the Civil Rights Act of 1963 and the Equal Pay Act. Consequently employers cannot use sex or gender as a basis for determinations regarding wages, hiring procedures, or promotion policies. They must also ensure that the workplace environment is not hostile to a particular gender and that it is not overly sexual.
What Must be Proven in a Discrimination Claim?
Discrimination occurs according to the Equal Pay Act if both men and women are working in the same job and performing the same tasks, yet receive different wages. Employers in Jay can also be held liable in a discrimination claim if their hiring and promotion policies favor one gender, or if the they take retaliatory action against a worker who files a complaint against their employer.
When is Sexual Harassment Prohibited?
Any unwelcome sexual behavior directed at the victim, including physical or verbal acts, is considered to be sexual harassment. Employers in Jay might also be liable for the behavior, even when the conduct was done by an employee's co-worker.
A Maine employer may also be liable for harassment if they allow conduct to lead to an environment that is overly sexual. Gender discrimination is typically difficult to prove without a lawyer because the specifics of proving intent can be complicated. There are also detailed procedures that must be followed when pursuing a claim.