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Discrimination

Among the most important laws that impact your workplace are nondiscrimination laws. The federal nondiscrimination laws prohibit discrimination throughout the course of the employee life cycle, including hiring and firing, promotions, pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment.

They include:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of:
    • Race and color;
    • Sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation and gender identity);
    • Religion; and
    • National origin
     
  • The Equal Pay Act, which requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. The ADA also requires covered employers (those with 15 or more employees) to provide a reasonable accommodation to these qualified individuals, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s operations.
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits discrimination against individuals age 40 and older on the basis of their age. This law also has requirements related to the treatment of pension benefits for older workers. See the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), which is part of the ADEA.
  • The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which prohibits discrimination against a person on the basis of past military service, current military obligations, or intent to serve. Many states also provide job-protected military leave. 
  • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which prohibits discrimination in employment based on genetic information.

[Note: Many states have similar laws prohibiting discrimination based on these classifications as well as disability and age, and against other protected classes.]     

To learn more about each of these federal nondiscrimination laws, please click on the appropriate link at left.


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