What are protected classes?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2022 | blog, discrimination, retaliation

Despite the fact that numerous advancements are made to workplaces every year, many of the old problems persist and linger despite that. Harassment and discrimination rank among the most problematic of these issues.

To help combat discrimination, in particular, protected classes came to be. What are these classes?

A list of protected classes

The National Archives look into protected classes and what they are. In short, a protected class reserves certain protections under the law from discriminatory practices that might keep them from getting a job, advancing within a job, or gaining fair treatment in any aspect of employment.

Protected classes can differ slightly from state to state. However, they generally include people with mental or physical handicaps, people over 40 years of age, any group that shares a color, religion, race or national origin in common, and men and women specifically on the basis of sex. Many states also offer protection to those on the LGBTQA+ spectrum.

Who these laws protect

Despite the fact that almost every person in the United States falls under a protected class of some kind, the laws specifically provide protections for those considered minority groups, as well as women who have suffered from a long history of unfavorable treatment regardless of whatever other protected classes they may or may not fall into.

People who fall under a protected class have the legal right to pursue damages from their employers or potential employers in the event that they believe they have faced discrimination due to one or more protected classes. In this way, employers have ample discouragement from unfairly discriminating against protected classes.

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