Sex Discrimination

Federal, state, and local law makes discrimination on the basis of illegal under federal, state, and local laws. Employers are forbidden from making decisions to hire, fire, promote, or to provide training or other benefits because of a person’s sex. Sex discrimination can take many different forms. The laws prohibiting sex discrimination also protect against sexual harassment by an employee’s co-workers, supervisors, clients, or customers. It also prohibits an employer from making decisions based on an employee’s pregnancy, requests for breastfeeding accommodations, family caregiving responsibilities, or when an employer acts on outdated stereotypes concerning the relative abilities of women or men in the workplace. The use of sexist slurs, sexually-charged comments, or other offensive behavior because of an employee’s sex is illegal.

Testimonial Background
At Correia & Puth we work to ensure that the long-standing protections against sex discrimination in the workplace are used to eliminate gender discrimination, unfair pay, sexual harassment, and unlawful glass ceilings, and to hold employers’ accountable and obtain justice for our clients.

Sex Discrimination Lawyers in the Washington D.C. Area

The lawyers at Correia & Puth, PLLC have extensive experience challenging and winning against employers that discriminate on the basis of sex, and bringing justice for targets of sex discrimination or related retaliation. Linda Correia and Jonathan Puth are recognized leaders in the representation of women subjected to sex discrimination. Correia and Puth were both named 2000 Trial Lawyer of the Year by Trial Lawyers for Public Justice for their work as co-counsel to the plaintiff class in the Hartman class action sex discrimination case, in which 1,100 women each received over a half million dollars each as part of a settlement worth over $565 million – the largest employment discrimination award in the history of the Civil Rights Act.

Need Help Filing a Sex Discrimination Claim? Call Correia & Puth!

The lawyers at Correia & Puth help employees enforce their rights and litigate violations of laws prohibiting sex discrimination. If you are confronting sex discrimination in your workplace, we will work with you to identify your rights, and craft a strategy to stop illegal conduct and remedy discrimination to the greatest extent possible. We assist our clients in lodging effective complains against employers, and with filing complaints with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and state or local anti-discrimination agencies. We zealously represent our clients in resolving claims by negotiations with employers and, where appropriate, through lawsuits to achieve our clients’ goals at trial.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sex discrimination in employment, including sexual harassment and discrimination in pay and benefits. Title VII applies to public and private employers with more than 15 employees. For smaller employers, local laws such as the District of Columbia Human Rights Act and the Montgomery and Prince Georges County Human Rights Acts can be just as powerful weapons to combat and challenge illegal sex discrimination in the workplace.

Other federal laws prohibit sex discrimination, for example, the Equal Pay Act prohibits pay discrimination on the basis of gender, requiring employers to pay similarly situated employees the same wage regardless of whether the employee is a male or female. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination against pregnant workers. Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 prohibits sex-based discrimination and retaliation in education, including on the basis of stereotypes, harassment, and in resources like athletic opportunities. State and local laws such as the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, and the Montgomery County and Prince Georges County Human Rights Acts, also provide broad legal protections against sex discrimination.

Sex Discrimination Impacts Both Men AND Women — Let Us Help You!

While the law protects both men and women, the lawyers at Correia & Puth know from experience that women in particular continue to endure sex discrimination in the workplace on a regular basis, whether through the exhibition of sexist and negative attitudes toward women, unfair and illegal treatment of competent female employees, or the imposition of “glass ceilings” that prevent women from progressing in management and leadership positions. Sexual harassment, for example, ranges from derogatory comments based on sex, to sexually charged behavior, threats of sexual assault, and sexual contact. Sex discrimination can also be subtle. Some women may experience fewer promotion opportunities or limits on promotions, be offered fewer mentorship or leadership opportunities, be subjected to sexual jokes and sexual-charged conversation that is passed off as casual, or be subject to lower pay and benefits. Sex discrimination can be reflected in an employer’s misogynistic approach to the relative worth of female employees when compared to males, or stereotypical views of women in the workplace and “appropriate” gender roles. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that discrimination based on sex stereotyping and the failure to conform to traditional gender stereotypes in appearance and conduct, for example dressing or acting too masculine or feminine, is prohibited under Title VII. The prohibition against sex discrimination and harassment is not limited to harassment by members of the opposite sex, but includes same-sex harassment as well.

Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and some courts have found that discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation is discrimination on the basis of sex, and actionable under existing civil rights protections.

Employees also have a right a workplace free of discrimination based on their family responsibilities. The protections apply to both men and women. Women have traditionally been the primary family caregivers, and employers may view women with caregiving responsibilities as less dedicated or competent workers. Employees may be able to allege sex discrimination when they have been treated worse based on stereotypes of female caregivers or treated worse than male employees whose behavior is similar to theirs. When employees are discriminated against because of their family responsibilities, it can violate many laws, such as Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Contact Correia & Puth For Legal Assistance Involving Sex Discrimination

If you feel you are experiencing or have experienced sex discrimination or related retaliation in your workplace or school, contact Correia & Puth, PLLC to help you seek justice. We work zealously to represent clients to seek a fair and just resolution for illegal employer conduct. Please contact us online today.

Practice Areas

Accommodations for Disabilities

We are committed to ensuring that all employees with disabilities have equal access to the workplace.


Age Discrimination

We fight employers who use age bias to discourage older workers from staying on the job or keep them from advancement.


Corporate Accountability

Corporations must be held accountable for wrongdoing, and whistleblowers often keep employers honest.


COVID-19 Protections for Health Workers

If you are a health care worker facing retaliation because you raised concerns, there are laws in place to protect you.


Disability Discrimination

We are dedicated to safeguarding the rights of individuals with disabilities and vigorously advocate for equal access.


Equal Pay Rights

Motivated by our commitment to workplace fairness, we fight employers who have shortchanged an employee because of bias.


Family & Medical Leave Discrimination

The FMLA provides job protected leave so that employees are not forced to choose between their job and caring for loved ones.


Family Responsibilities Discrimination

Employees should not be penalized for taking care of their loved ones, and we are committed to fighting for your rights.


Federal Employees

We help federal sector employees understand workplace rights and navigate the unique federal agency employment context.


Federal Employee Whistleblower Protections

Employees and contractors of the federal government have strong protections from retaliation for speaking out.


Gender Identity Discrimination

We believe no employee should face harassment, discrimination, or retaliation because of who they are or how they identify.


National Origin Discrimination

We believe all employees should be given a fair chance to succeed regardless of their culture and background.


Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy and motherhood are not incompatible with work. Our firm fights for expecting mothers and mothers with newborns.


Race Discrimination

Employers are forbidden from making decisions to hire, fire, promote, or to provide training or other benefits because of a person’s race.


Religious Discrimination

We value individuals' religious beliefs and personal choices and are committed to ensuring the ability to practice without fear.



We believe that employees should be able to assert their legal rights without risking their livelihoods.


Severance Agreements

Our practice of negotiating severance agreements is built upon years of experience working on behalf of employees at all levels.


Sex Discrimination

We work to eliminate gender discrimination, unfair pay, sexual harassment, and unlawful glass ceilings.


Sexual Harassment

We are dedicated advocates for the right to a workplace free from a sexually hostile work environment.


Sexual Orientation Discrimination

We believe that no employee should be fired, shortchanged, or treated differently because of who they are and whom they love.


Title IX Claims

We are a national leader on use of Title IX as an effective tool for an educational environment free from discrimination and retaliation.


Veterans (USERRA)

USERRA provides job protections to employees who temporarily leave private employment for military service.


Wage & Commission Claims

We fight employers who have wrongfully withheld salaries, commissions, and wages, and hold them accountable for what's unpaid.


Whistleblower Retaliation

Employees should be free from intimidation, harassment, or threats when taking a stand against wrong or unsafe workplaces.

It takes courage to fight back against those who discriminate.
Contact us to see how we can help you.