Gender Discrimination, Harassment, and Hostile Work Environments


The paper outlines additional information that expands the scope of the employee handbook. It forms a supplementary guide to help employees in acquainting themselves with some of the liberties and responsibilities of their employment in four main areas. These are gender discrimination, sex discrimination, harassment, and hostile workplace. Employees are free to consult the manager for additional information on the procedures, protocols, and freedoms defined in this handbook. The stated guidelines do not support gender and sex discrimination, which is a requirement by law under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. All employees are expected to abide by the law and observe the highest ideals of personal and professional ethics and behavior. Further, the company expects each employee to demonstrate reasonable judgment, discretion and courtesy in their professional engagement. Their conduct should not amount to any form of harassment or breed a hostile work environment in any of the ways outlined in the handbook.

Gender and Sex Discrimination

Gender and sex discrimination entails treating somebody differently in their job just because the individual is a woman or a man. Even though the terms sex and gender are used interchangeably in ordinary connotations, the two words denote different meanings. In social science, the term sex is used to refer to somebody’s anatomical or biological makeup as female or male. On the other hand, gender refers to the packet of traits that are traditionally associated with femaleness or maleness (Blackham, 2019). Nonetheless, discrimination is principally forbidden whether it is founded on gender, sex, or both gender and sex. In the United States laws, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for an employer to segregate against an employee based on their sex, color, race, natural origin, or religion. Furthermore, beginning June 2020, the Supreme Court issued a ruling extending this protection to cover sexual orientation and gender identity.

Gender and sex discrimination can be interpreted in a multiplicity of ways, as described below. However, it typically means that a job applicant or employee ought not to be handled differently or less favorably due to their gender or sex identity. The company prohibits the employees from discriminating their counterparts because of their gender or sex. Additionally, the company sows not support any sexual or romantic friendships between a manager or supervisory employee and an employee reporting directly or indirectly to that executive or supervisor (Blackham, 2019). Some of the unwarranted gender and sex discrimination cases not permissible by the company include when a person:

  • Is employed, or assigned a lower-paying job mainly due to their sexual orientation or gender make up. For instance, when the employer declines to engage a woman or employs women to handle certain tasks.
  • Is held to varied standards, or scrutinized more hardly, because of their gender or sexual identity, or because they do not act or present themselves in a way that fits the conventional notions of manliness or womanhood.
  • Who identifies as a woman is awarded an unfavorable performance assessment mark that condemns her for being too forceful while men who act in a similar manner are applauded for showing leadership. Additionally, a woman may be chastised for their appearance and may be told she needs to look more presentable, which is a form of gender discrimination.
  • Is paid a lower amount than somebody of a different sexual orientation or gender identity who is equally well or less qualified, or has similar or less job assignments.
  • If you think you are being paid less than someone of a different gender identity to do the same job or substantially similar work, check out our Equal Pay Know Your Rights Guide.
  • Is refused a chance to train, promotion or pay raise, which other people in another gender or sex have been accorded and are similarly or less competent or qualified
  • Is penalized for something that other workers of a different gender or sex do all the time but are never castigated for it.
  • Is disrespected, labelled derogative terms because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, or hearing negative comments about people of a particular gender or sex.
  • Is subjected to offensive sexual advances, pleas for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
  • Is denied employment or given fewer responsibilities or forced out on leave for being pregnant.


The company desires to establish and provide for a work atmosphere in which individual employees are cared for with politeness, dignity, and appreciation. The company’s domain must be defined by trust and zero tolerance to oppression, arm-twisting, and exploitation. Therefore, the company will not condone unlawful harassment of any nature and will take suitable and reliable action in response to grievances or knowledge of breaches of this protocols. Harassment refers to any oral or bodily behavior modeled to frighten, dishearten or compel an employee, staff member, or any individual working for or on behalf of the company. Harassment at the workplace violates the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) since it not permitted under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (Lee, 2018). In general the company recognizes that pleasant, mutually respectful, respectful, and non-coercive exchanges between employees that are relevant in the workplace and logical and accepted by both parties do not amount to be harassment.

The company considers two broad forms of harassment, that is, verbal and non-verbal harassment. Verbal harassment covers unwelcome or offending statements touching on an employee’s color, age, appearance, pregnancy, race, culture, sex, disability, marital status or other protected status, involving slurs, epithets, and adverse stereotypes. Non-verbal harassment constitutes talks over, display, or distribution of any written or pictorial substance that insults, mocks, denigrates, belittles or shows animosity, dislike or hurt the feelings of a person or group because of color, age, appearance, pregnancy, race, culture, sex, disability, marital status or other protected status, involving slurs, epithets, and adverse stereotypes.

Sexual harassment is the most prevalent form of harassment that involves distasteful sexual advances, demands for sexual favors, and other verbal or bodily posture of a sexual character. Further, an individual’s concession to or non-acceptance of such conduct is used as the factor for employment determinations or is purposed to create a hostile, intimidating, adversarial or offensive working ground (Lee, 2018). Sexual harassment can be made implicitly or explicitly through a term or requirement for a job, or unreasonably interferes with a worker’s performance or engenders an intimidating, antagonistic or otherwise awful atmosphere.

Hostile Work Environment

Employees need to feel a sense of belonging and safety at the workplace. Otherwise a hostile working environment can affect a person’s ability to perform. Apart from causing a decline in the organization’s competitiveness, it also has legal consequences as entails both harassment and discrimination A hostile work environment destroys the company’s culture and employees restrain their commitment by not participating wholly in performing their duties. It is for this reason that it is connected to poor performance and decreased eagerness to for the employees to coordinate (Leza & Fessel, 2020). It can be termed as a poison that threatens the mental standing, healthiness, and work performance of a department, a team, or the entire labor force of the company.

Despite the harmful effects of a hostile work environment to both the company and the employee, it is quite a common phenomenon. Hostility an be manifest in different ways, which may not be easily discernible. Some of the conducts that can lead to a hostile work environment and need to be discouraged at the company include:

  • Distasteful behavior of an employee towards others based on their genetic information, age, or cultural background.
  • Undesirable conduct towards other employees based on religion, color, race, and sex. This further includes pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
  • Unwarranted touching or sexual harassment
  • Talking about coitus or sexual ordinances using a sexually subversive language.
  • Broadcasting offending jokes, particularly with certain categories of people as victims.
  • Making undesirable comments on a colleague’s physical stature
  • Using abusive or racist terms, photos, or insults to negatively paint fellow workers
  • Using inappropriate gestures at the place of work
  • Undesirable physical contact or touching
  • Bullying other people at the place of work or gas lighting
  • Deliberately undermining an employee’s job or career
  • The handbook also supports hostile conduct as outlined in the EEOC


Blackham, A. (2019). Empirical research and workplace discrimination law. Brill Research Perspectives in Comparative Discrimination Law, 3(2), 1–60. Web.

Lee, J. (2018). Passive leadership and sexual harassment. Personnel Review, 47(3), 594–612. Web.

Lexa, F. J., & Fessell, D. (2020). Perceived hostility in the workplace. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 17(9), 1186–1187. Web.

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