41 CFR § 60-20.7 - Employment decisions made on the basis of sex-based stereotypes.

§ 60-20.7 Employment decisions made on the basis of sex-based stereotypes.

Contractors must not make employment decisions on the basis of sex-based stereotypes, such as stereotypes about how males and/or females are expected to look, speak, or act. Such employment decisions are a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Executive Order 11246, as amended. Examples of discrimination based on sex-based stereotyping may include, but are not limited to:

(a) Adverse treatment of an employee or applicant for employment because of that individual's failure to comply with gender norms and expectations for dress, appearance, and/or behavior, such as:

(1) Failing to promote a woman, or otherwise subjecting her to adverse employment treatment, based on sex stereotypes about dress, including wearing jewelry, make-up, or high heels;

(2) Harassing a man because he is considered effeminate or insufficiently masculine; or

(3) Treating employees or applicants adversely based on their sexual orientation where the evidence establishes that the discrimination is based on gender stereotypes;

(b) Adverse treatment of employees or applicants because of their actual or perceived gender identity or transgender status;

(c) Adverse treatment of a female employee or applicant because she does not conform to a sex stereotype about women working in a particular job, sector, or industry; and

(d) Adverse treatment of employees or applicants based on sex-based stereotypes about caregiver responsibilities. For example, adverse treatment of a female employee because of a sex-based assumption that she has (or will have) family caretaking responsibilities, and that those responsibilities will interfere with her work performance, is discrimination based on sex. Other examples of such discriminatory treatment include, but are not limited to:

(1) Adverse treatment of a male employee because he has taken or is planning to take leave to care for his newborn or recently adopted or foster child based on the sex-stereotyped belief that women and not men should care for children;

(2) Denying opportunities to mothers of children based on the sex-stereotyped belief that women with children should not or will not work long hours, regardless of whether the contractor is acting out of hostility or belief that it is acting in the employee's or her children's best interest;

(3) Evaluating the performance of female employees who have family caregiving responsibilities adversely, based on the sex-based stereotype that women are less capable or skilled than their male counterparts who do not have such responsibilities; and

(4) Adverse treatment of a male employee who is not available to work overtime or on weekends because he cares for his elderly father, based on the sex-based stereotype that men do not have family caregiving responsibilities that affect their availability for work, or that men who are not available for work without constraint are not sufficiently committed, ambitious, or dependable.