What is the Law?
The primary federal law prohibiting discrimination in the workplace is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Many states have developed similar statutes over time, deriving much of the underlying protections from Title VII. Some states have additional protected classes.
Delaware’s new sexual harassment law HB360, effective January 1, 2019, requires employers to distribute the Department of Labor’s Sexual Harassment Notice. Employers with 50 or more employees must also have every employee participate in interactive Delaware Sexual Harassment Training.
What is EEOC?
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for preventing unlawful employment practices by employers, unions, and employment agencies.
The EEOC accepts and investigates charges of discrimination filed by or on behalf of individuals claiming to have been subjected to an unlawful employment practice on the basis of a protected class.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age 40+)
- Equal Pay Act
- Americans with Disabilities Act
What is Discrimination?
Discrimination refers to unequal or unfair treatment of an individual or a group based on certain characteristics protected by federal and/or state law.
- Age (40+)
What is Harassment?
Any form of verbal, visual, or physical conduct that is unwelcome, and could create or contribute to an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment.
Harassment may include conduct such as stereotyped or demeaning remarks or gestures; bullying; or the display or circulation, whether in writing or electronically, of materials or pictures offensive to persons because of their protected class in accordance with the law.
Harassment is actionable as discrimination (in violation of the law) when the conduct becomes “so severe or pervasive as to alter the conditions of the employee’s employment and create an abusive working environment.”