Author: Lisa Pierson Weinberger, Mom, Esq.
When to Use
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. Under federal law, employers can be liable for discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation and gender identity), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or certain classifications based on genetic information. State or local laws may protect additional classes of employees or apply to a broader range of employers than federal law. 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 discrimination lawsuits or administrative charges, and will be useful as evidence in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding.