Equality Rights

The right to protections against discrimination.

Federal law makes it illegal for qualifying employers (see jurisdictional thresholds for OFCCP and coverage for EEOC) to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, citizenship or immigration status, or service member or veteran status. For employers who are federal contractors and subcontractors, it is also illegal to discriminate against those who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations.

Employment discrimination may also occur when an employer’s seemingly fair policies or practices have a significant negative impact on people because of a protected characteristic without demonstrating the policies or practices are job-related and consistent with business necessity. For example, an employer may screen applicants with strength requirements (e.g., a need to lift 50 pounds unassisted) that exceed the actual requirements necessary to perform the job in question, and result in disqualifying more women than men. Unless the employer can show that such practices are related to the job and necessary for the business, then the employer may be discriminating.

Discrimination can also occur when you and the person who discriminated against you share a protected characteristic like race or national origin.

You generally have a right to protection from discrimination regardless of your immigration status, although, in some cases, immigration status may limit the remedies that you’ll be able to obtain.

Tell us about your concern, so you can learn about your rights and find out whom to contact if you need more information.