Sex Discrimination

Austin Sex Discrimination Attorney

Laws Protecting Workers From Sex Discrimination

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits disparate compensation of employees on the basis of sex. Men and women working at the same place of business and performing equal work are entitled to equal pay. To fulfill the equal work requirement, job titles need not be identical so long as the skills and responsibilities required of the positions are substantially the same. Pay differential is substantiated only when it is a result of seniority, productivity, or other merit based factor unrelated to the employee’s sex.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code make it unlawful for employers to consider an individual’s gender when making decisions related to hiring, firing, promoting, training, compensating or other terms of employment. Also covered under Title VII and the Texas Labor Code, employers may not base employment decisions on stereotypes as to which gender has the abilities, skills, or traits to better perform a position or duty. Title VII and the Texas Labor Code not only prohibit outright, intentional sex discrimination but also company policies that may unintentionally exclude individuals on the basis of gender.

An employee who reports or opposes certain practices on the basis of sex discrimination cannot suffer retaliation by his or her employer. This means that an employer may not demote or terminate an employee who makes a good faith claim of sex discrimination in the workplace simply on the basis of his or her complaint.

Employee Remedies For Sex Discrimination

In a lawsuit for sex discrimination, an employee may be able to recover:

  • Lost wages and benefits to the time of trial
  • Compensatory damages
  • Punitive damages
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Expert witness fees
  • Costs of court

Prior to filing a lawsuit, an employee must file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and/or Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). These agencies enforce the laws protecting employees from sex discrimination in the workplace.

What to do if your Employer Discriminates Against you Because of your Sex

Contact an attorney immediately, and preferably an attorney who routinely represents employees in employment litigation. If you are not able to contact an attorney, you should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division. To preserve your rights under the law for this type of discrimination, you must act quickly and typically must follow certain procedural steps, such as filing a charge of discrimination with either the EEOC or TWC. Lastly, take thorough notes regarding everything discriminatory that is being said or done to you and keep all records related to your employment. These notes and records may prove invaluable in a later lawsuit.

Additional Resources for Learning About Sex Discrimination in the Workplace

EEOC Information on Sex Discrimination

WorkplaceFairness Fact Sheet on Sex and Gender Discrimination


If you feel that you have experienced sex discrimination and wish to speak to an Austin sex discrimination lawyer at the Cook Law Firm, please submit a case review form.