Different laws define the protected classes. Protected classes for the laws are as follows:
- Title VII – race, color, sex, religion and national origin
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) – age 40 and over
- Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Americans with Disability Act Amendments Act of 2008 – disability
Age discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) less favorably because of age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) only forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. It does not protect workers under the age of 40, although some states do have laws that protect younger workers from age discrimination. It is not illegal for an employer or other covered entity to favor an older worker over a younger one, even if both workers are age 40 or older. Additional information
Disability discrimination occurs when an employer or other entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, or the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, treats a qualified individual with a disability who is an employee or applicant unfavorably because of a disability. Disability discrimination also occurs when a covered employer or other entity treats an applicant or employee less favorably because of someone having a history of a disability (such as cancer that is controlled or in remission) or because someone is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory lasting or expected to last six months or less and minor, even if someone does not have such an impairment. Additional Information
Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment, took effect on November 21, 2009.
Under Title II of GINA, it is illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Title II of GINA prohibits the use of genetic information in making employment decisions, restricts employers and other entities covered by Title II (employment agencies, labor organizations and joint labor-management training and apprenticeship programs - referred to as "covered entities") from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information, and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information. Additional Information
National origin discrimination involves treating people (applicants or employees) unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background (even if they are not). National origin discrimination also can involve treating people unfavorably because they are married to (or associated with) a person of a certain national origin or because of their connection with an ethnic organization or group. Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same national origin. Additional Information
Race discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion. Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race or color or because of a person’s connection with a race-based organization or group, or an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain color. Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same race or color. Additional Information
Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Religious discrimination can also involve treating someone differently because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion or because of his or her connection with a religious organization or group. Additional Information
Sex discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person’s sex. Sex discrimination also can involve treating someone less favorably because of his or her connection with an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain sex. Additional Information
Pregnancy discrimination is discrimination against women who are pregnant or affected by pregnancy-related conditions. They must be treated in the same manner as other applicants or employees with similar abilities or limitations.
Unlawful Workplace Harrassment is unwelcome or unsolicited speech or conduct based upon race, sex, creed, religion, national origin, age, color, or handicapping condition as defined by G.S. 168A-3 that creates a hostile work environment or circumstances involving quid pro quo.