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Addressing sex-based stereotypes

Scenario: One of our male employees is perceived by our hiring manager as acting in a stereotypically feminine way. This is a discussion the manager has brought up in leadership meetings, which makes the rest of us uncomfortable, though we haven’t really addressed it. Now, the manager has decided to pass on promoting the employee because of how the employee might be perceived by customers.

Question: Is this discrimination?

Click below to see answer.

Addressing sex-based stereotypes: Answer

Answer: Yes. Whether or not your hiring manager knows an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity, you are not allowed to discriminate against an employee for not conforming to a sex-based stereotype about feminine or masculine behavior. In other words, employers are not allowed to discriminate against men whom they perceive to act or appear in stereotypically feminine ways, nor against women whom they perceive to act or appear in stereotypically masculine ways.