QUICK FACT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES:
ILLEGAL & PERMISSIBLE DISCRIMINATION AT WORKPLACE
The main federal law prohibiting discrimination in the workplace is Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. It applies to your business if you employ 15 or more people, either full time or part time. Most state laws impose similar prohibitions against discrimination and many cover employers with fewer employees.
Title VII of civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, and national origin. Harassment in the workplace is also prohibited as a type of illegal discrimination. Depending on what state you are in, it might also be illegal to discriminate against workers based on other factors, such as being single, married, or divorced; obesity; marital status; or military service.
Under Title VII and other antidiscrimination laws, you have a very limited right to hire on basis of gender, religion, or national origin if a job has special requirements that make such discrimination necessary. Such a special circumstance is called a bona fide occupational qualification (BFQQ)
For more information, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/discrimination-type