In Pennsylvania, discrimination by employers that is based on gender is prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1963 and the Equal Pay Act. Accordingly, employers may not take sex into account when they determine pay, hire new workers, or promote within the company. They also must ensure that working environments are not hostile or biased towards a particular gender, and that it is not of an overtly sexual atmosphere.
What Must be Proven in a Discrimination Claim?
The Equal Pay Act allows discrimination to be proven if it can be shown that both men and women work for the same employer doing the same tasks, and yet are paid differently. Employers in Erie County will 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?
Sexual harassment includes any unwanted sexual behavior, whether verbal or physical, directed at the victim. Employers in Erie County might also be liable for the behavior, even when the conduct was done by an employee's co-worker.
A Pennsylvania employer may also be liable for harassment if they allow conduct to lead to an environment that is overly sexual. Without a lawyer, it can be difficult to prove gender discrimination because the details in proving intent are often complicated. Also, there can be specific procedures that must be closely followed in pursuing a claim.