Author: Lisa Pierson Weinberger, Mom, Esq.

When to Use This Policy

Federal, state and local laws prohibit discriminatory conduct in the workplace that is based upon, or motivated by, an individual's membership in a protected class. Although claims of racial discrimination are most well-known, an employer can also be liable for discrimination based on color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or certain classifications based on genetic information, and other characteristics protected by state or local laws. As a result, employers have an obligation to make sure that the workplace is free from discrimination.

Every employer should have a discrimination policy that is provided and communicated to all employees. Such a policy, if enforced, will help to prevent discrimination, will aid in the defense of any lawsuits or administrative charges based upon discrimination, and will be useful as evidence in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding.

Below is a model policy that should be further tailored to fit the employer's specific needs