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Gender Stereotypes Violate Title VII

In a case from the Easter District of Virginia, the Court held that gender stereotypes or comments from supervisors that a fellow employee was “not man enough” or “looked just like a women” and that he was effeminate in his behavior is a violation of Title VII and that  such frequent comments also created a hostile work environment. 

Raymond Handerson, a straight male, was employed by Labor Finders of Virginia. His employer would only provide him with job assignments when no other employees were available for the post. Labor Finders would also hesitate in providing him with further assignments because his mannerisms was not “representative” of the employer. Raymond also heard Project Managers complain that he was “gay” and behaved “like a women” and that Raymond should not be on the job site.  Henderson v. Labor Finders of Virginia, Inc., E.D. Va., No. 3:12cv600 (April 2, 2013).

The Court in ruling for Raymond said that “Title VII is intended to strike at the entire spectrum of disparate treatment of men and women resulting from sex stereotypes” and that when the workplace is permeated with “discriminatory intimidation, ridicule and insult, that is sufficiently severe and pervasive to alter a change in the work environment, Title VII is violated.” Here Raymond made specific allegations where his project manager, would call him, “gay,” “faggot,”  “behaving like a women” and that his behavior was “unmanly.” The Court held that this was sexual stereotyping and a violation of Title VII. The court further held that Raymond sufficiently stated a claim for hostile work environment under the gender stereotyping theory by detailing the statements made by his supervisors, including the remarks that he was not a “real man” and “looked just like a woman.” 

 

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