Federal fair employment laws protect employees from discrimination
based on age, race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability,
and genetic information. Federal law covers employers of 15 or more
employees, except for the Age Discrimination in Employment
Act (ADEA), which covers employers with 20 or more employees.
State laws often cover employers with fewer employees and provide
protection for groups not covered under federal law. Certain individuals
in the workplace, such as independent contractors, are not protected
by federal fair employment laws if they are not employees. Employers
are liable for discriminatory acts by supervisors—in some cases, strictly
liable. There are many preventive measures an employer can take to
reduce the probability of being sued for discrimination. Civil rights
laws also impose numerous recordkeeping requirements on employers.
Summary for [Your State]