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e-Li: Electronic Library

Employment Discrimination

“Discrimination” is treatment or consideration that is given on the basis of a class or category rather than on individual merit.  Various forms of discrimination in the workplace are prohibited under both state and federal laws. These discrimination laws not only prohibit overt acts of discrimination but they also prohibit other forms of discrimination, including harassment if it is on the basis of something that is covered by the discrimination laws. The general framework of discrimination law is set out in the federal statutes; state laws are generally very similar and will not be discussed except where there is a significant difference. Not all discrimination is illegal, and not all bad behavior rises to the level of illegal harassment.