What are protected classes?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2022 | Workplace discrimination |

Unfortunately, even though workplaces have made many advancements in the last few years alone, many of the problems that afflicted workplaces of the past continue to exist today.

Discrimination is one of these issues. However, laws exist today that allow for protection of certain classes depending on how likely they are to face harassment and discriminatory behavior. What are these classes?

Protected classes

The Equal Employment Opportunity Program discusses protected classes among workers. Though this list may differ from state to state, most of the protected classes remain roughly the same.

First, it includes any discrimination against men or women based solely on sex. It also includes groups that share a common color, race, religion or national origin. It includes people over the age of 40. It also includes individuals who have either a physical or mental handicap of some sort.

The specific protection of minorities

Though virtually every citizen falls under at least one protected class, these laws specifically came into existence in order to protect those who fall under minority groups, as well as women who suffer from a long history of unfavorable treatment both in and out of the workplace.

Thus, most of the law specifics as well as many of the cases reflect this primary goal and revolve around women or minority groups. In America, minority groups often include non-white, non-religious people, as well as people who are not heterosexual or cisgender.

By understanding what classes receive the most protection from these laws, workers can then determine how to navigate their workplace with more certainty. They can even decide to tackle potential court cases with a greater sense of confidence.