Federal, state and local anti-discrimination laws prohibit workplace discrimination based on an employee’s race, sex, religion, national origin, pregnancy, age, or disability. Employees working in the District of Columbia and other localities are also protected from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, family responsibilities, personal appearance, matriculation, or political affiliation. These laws protect employees from discrimination with respect to all terms and conditions of their employment, including hiring, compensation, promotion, treatment on the job, and termination. These laws also bar employers from making employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or likely performance of individuals because of their sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or disability.
Adverse employment actions based on employees’ membership in one or more protected class are unlawful. Such actions may include: refusing to hire, refusing to provide training, denying advancements and promotions, denying equal compensation and benefits, disciplining, harassing, and firing. It is also unlawful to retaliate against an employee for complaining about what the employee believes to be discrimination. Retaliation may also take several forms, including any of the actions listed above.