In United States federal anti-discrimination law, a protected class is a characteristic of a person which cannot be targeted for discrimination. The following characteristics are considered "Protected Classes" by Federal law:
- Race – Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Color – Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Religion – Civil Rights Act of 1964
- National origin – Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Age (40 and over) – Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
- Sex – Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Pregnancy – Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- Citizenship – Immigration Reform and Control Act
- Familial status – Civil Rights Act of 1968 Title VIII: Housing cannot discriminate for having children, with an exception for senior housing
- Disability status – Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
- Veteran status – Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
- Genetic information – Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
Individual states can and do create other protected classes, which are protected under that state's law.
- Affirmative action
- Civil Rights Act of 1968—In particular, Title VIII of the Act, also known as the Fair Housing Act
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
- Protected group
- Suspect classification
- "Civil Rights Act of 1964 – CRA – Title VII – Equal Employment Opportunities – 42 US Code Chapter 21". Retrieved 2010-06-06.
- "Facts about Discrimination in Federal Government Employment Based on Marital Status, Political Affiliation, Status as a Parent, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity". Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
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