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Sexual Discrimination Claims

If you have suffered sexual discrimination at work, you may be able to claim compensation. Your case will be reviewed by our panel of legal firms who will be able to tell you how much you could be owed.

Home E Employment E Discrimination E Sexual Discrimination

Overview of sexual discrimination claims

Sexual discrimination claims are filed by individuals who feel that they have been treated unfairly or differently in their employment, education or another area of lifee because of their gender or sexual orientation. The claims can be filed against an individual, a company or an organisation. Such claims are often complex and require a thorough understanding of the law and the process of filing a claim. Sexual discrimination can include:

Direct discrimination

When someone treats another person unfavourably because of their sex.

Indirect discrimination

To have a rule, policy or practice in place in the workplace which places someone at a disadvantage to the opposite sex.


Any form of sexual harassment or sexual abuse.


If you make a complaint about sexual discrimination and are victimised because of this. For example, you are treated unfairly in the workplace.

Criteria needed to qualify for a sexual discrimination claim

In order to qualify for a sexual discrimination external link icon white claim, the victim must have been subjected to unfavourable treatment due to their gender or sexual orientation. Discrimination can take many forms, including harassment, wrongful termination and failure to promote. In order for a claim to be valid, the victim must be able to prove that the unfavourable treatment was due to their gender or sexual orientation.

Did you know?

Although the Equal Pay Act has been in place since 1975, women still earn 19.8% less than men external link icon white on average.

The legal argument for a sexual discrimination claim

The legal argument for a sexual discrimination claim is based on the violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, colour, religion, sex or national origin. Sexual discrimination claims fall under the sex category, which includes gender and sexual orientation. The law also prohibits retaliation against individuals who file such claims or assist in their investigation.

The Equality Act of 2010 is another employment law that protects employees from being discriminated against by their employer and also includes sexual discrimination. Your employer is liable for sexual discrimination if they have directly or indirectly discriminated against you or if another employee has, such as a colleague or manager. You may be able to make a claim against the individual who discriminated against you as well as your employer.

Key Facts

63% of women external link icon white aged 18-24 have reported experiencing sexual harassment at work.

There are 2 instances of lawful sexual discrimination:


Where a person’s sex is an occupational requirement. For example, if employment is within a religious organisation or the armed forces.

Positive Action

Where there is Positive Action. This occurs if an employer believes they have an unbalanced workforce where one sex is under-represented. The employer can prove they used Positive Action to achieve balance in the workforce.

Evidence to support the claim

In order to support a sexual discrimination claim, the victim must provide evidence that demonstrates that the unfavourable treatment was due to their gender or sexual orientation. This evidence can include witness statements, emails, text messages or any other relevant documentation.

It is also important to provide a timeline of events leading up to the unfavourable treatment to demonstrate the pattern of discrimination. Your case needs to meet the basic legal tests that apply to sexual discrimination according to the Equality Act or the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Did you know?

Across Britain, men are almost twice as likely external link icon white to be a manager, director or senior official than women.

A guide to compensation amounts

Compensation amounts for sexual discrimination external link icon light blue claims vary depending on a number of factors, including the severity of the discrimination, the victim’s position within the organisation and the impact that the discrimination had on the victim’s career or personal life. Some compensation amounts include back pay, front pay, emotional distress damages and punitive damages.

Back pay compensates the victim for the wages they would have earned if they had not been discriminated against, while front pay compensates the victim for the wages they will lose in the future due to discrimination. Emotional distress damages compensate the victim for the emotional distress caused by the discrimination while punitive damages are awarded to punish the perpetrator for their actions and to deter others from engaging in similar behaviour.

Key Facts

68% of women believed it was not possible for them to return to a part-time senior role external link icon white after having a baby.

In some cases, the compensation can be significant, especially if the individual has lost their job or suffered a long-term impact on their career prospects.

How long do sexual discrimination claims typically take?

The length of a sexual discrimination claim varies depending on the complexity of the case and the court’s schedule. In general, it can take several months to a year or more for a case to be resolved. The claim process typically involves the filing of a complaint, an investigation, and potential mediation or litigation. There could be delays if your employer or the individual you made a claim against take a while to respond to the claim or if it takes a while to negotiate the compensation between the third party and your solicitor.

It’s important to submit your claim as soon as possible and within 6 months after the discrimination incident happened – or 3 months if it happened in the workplace. If the discrimination was carried out over an extended period of time, the time limit will start at the end of this period. The discrimination is classed as ‘continuing’ if the separate incidents are connected in some way. Time limits tend to be more flexible for these kinds of cases due to their complex nature.

The claim process

The claim process for sexual discrimination can be quite complex. It usually involves:

Talk to your employer

If you feel comfortable enough, talk about the possible sexual discrimination with your employer. You can arrange a chat with your line manager or take up a formal complaint with your boss. You usually do this through writing, which your employer will have to respond to with a formal meeting to discuss your complaint. If you’re unhappy with the outcome, you can then decide whether you wish to submit a claim via an employment tribunal.

Gather evidence

If you decide to take it further and make a claim against your employer, you will need to gather evidence to support your claim. This may involve obtaining proof that you can use to show that the sexual discrimination happened. This includes things like witness statements as well as text messages, emails, photos or videos of the discrimination taking place.

Submitting a claim

Once you have gathered all of the necessary evidence, you can then submit your claim with the help of one of our solicitors. Our claim partners at Claims Bible will ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Common questions

What is the difference between sexual harassment and sexual discrimination?

Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination. It involves requests for sexual favours, unwelcome sexual advances or other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature. In the workplace, sexual discrimination can take many forms, including wrongful termination, harassment and failure to promote.

Can I be fired for filing a sexual discrimination claim?

No, it’s illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a sexual discrimination claim or assisting in an investigation. This is according to employment law in the UK.

For more common questions, please refer to the specific claim pages or read our general FAQs page.

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