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  1. #1
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    Jul 2008
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    Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    A protected group or protected class is a group of people qualified for special protection by a law, policy, or similar authority. In the United States, the term is frequently used in connection with employees and employment.

    Where discrimination on the basis of protected group status is concerned, a single act of discrimination may be based on membership in more than one protected group. For example, discrimination based on antisemitism may relate to religion, national origin, or both; discrimination against a pregnant woman might be based on sex, marital status, or both.[1]

    U.S. federal law protects individuals from discrimination or harassment based on the following nine protected classes: sex, race, age, disability, color, creed, national origin, religion, or genetic information (added in 2008). Many state laws also give certain protected groups special protection against harassment and discrimination, as do many employer policies. Although it is not required by federal law, employer policies may also protect employees from harassment or discrimination based on marital status or sexual orientation. The following characteristics are "protected" by United States federal anti-discrimination law:

    Race – 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
    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission interprets 'sex' to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity[2]
    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


    Some individual states have added protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and perhaps other characteristics.

    So the question for this thread is: Should federal law protecting classes of people against discrimination in employment be expanded and, if so, to cover which additional groups? Or should federal law remain as-is? Or should the list of protected classes be pared down in some way?

    I'm thinking that employment should also not be denied on the basis of political ideology, alcoholism, low IQ, natural body odor and flatulence, because those are all immutable characteristics of an individual.
    Last edited by evensaul; May 26th, 2018 at 12:41 PM.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan



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