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Discrimination Law Overview

There are numerous federal statutes, state statutes, local and county ordinances, and regulations and executive orders that broadly regulate the employment relationship to guard against employment decisions made for illegally discriminatory reasons. They include:

Federal Statutes - examples

State Statutes and Local Ordinances - examples

These statutes and ordinances provide the guidelines which help the courts decide when illegal discrimination has occurred by defining "protected categories." That is, each statute or ordinance identifies groups (or categories) who are protected from harassment, termination, or other unfair treatment because of membership in a protected group and allows members of those groups to pursue legal remedies if they experience illegal discrimination.

The protected categories include, but are not limited to: