The elements of a prima facie case of sex discrimination are essentially the same as with other protected class discrimination. The employee must demonstrate that she: (1) is a member of a protected class, (2) satisfactorily performed her job, (3) was subjected to adverse job action, and (4) was the victim of disparate treatment, i.e., that similarly situated male employee were treated differently or more favorably by the employer under similar circumstances.

If the employer proffers a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the adverse job action, the employee must prove that the proffered reason is really pretext to hide intentional discrimination based on the employee’s sex. The employee must prove that a gender-based discriminatory intent motivated the job action in question. Discriminatory intent often involves a gender-based animus that is pervasive in the workplace and shared by the employment decision-maker.