What Constitutes a Protected Class on the Federal Level and in New York State?
Protected Class is a term used in United States anti-discrimination law describing groups of people who share common characteristics which fall under the protection of one of the following Federal anti-discrimination laws.
The following characteristics are considered "Protected Classes" under the Federal Laws:
- Race - Federal: Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Color - Federal: Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Religion - Federal: Civil Rights Act of 1964
- National origin - Federal: Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Age (40 and over) - Federal: Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
- Sex - Federal: Equal Pay Act of 1963 & Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Familial status (Housing, cannot discriminate for having children, exception for senior housing)
- Disability status - Federal: Vocational Rehabilitation and Other Rehabilitation Services of 1973 & Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
- Veteran status - Federal Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974
- Genetic information - Federal: Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
Additionally, in New York State protection is extended to two additional classes:
- Sexual Preference