Employment Discrimination in D.C.

Employment discrimination against protected classes is illegal in D.C.

April 18, 2018
Federal and state law prohibit D.C. employers from discriminating against employees based on certain characteristics, such as race or religion. (To learn more, see our page on employment discrimination and harassment.)

What Are the Protected Classes in the District of Columbia?

In all 50 states, federal law makes it illegal to discriminate based on:

  • race
  • color
  • national origin
  • religion
  • sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
  • disability
  • age (40 and older)
  • citizenship status, and
  • genetic information.

In addition, District of Columbia law also prohibits employment discrimination based on:

  • race
  • color
  • national origin
  • religion
  • sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, parenthood, and breastfeeding)
  • disability: physical or mental
  • age (18 and older)
  • genetic information
  • marital status (includes domestic partnership)
  • sexual orientation
  • gender identity or expression
  • enrollment in vocational, professional, or college education
  • family duties (taking care of a dependent child, parent, or grandparent, for example)
  • personal appearance
  • political affiliation
  • credit information
  • tobacco use, and
  • status as unemployed.

Which Employers Are Sbject to Antidiscrimination Laws?

Federal antidiscrimination laws apply to Pennsylvania employers with 15 or more employees, with the following exceptions:

  • age discrimination (employers with 20 or more employees)
  • citizenship status discrimination (employers with four or more employees), and
  • equal pay for men and women (all employers).

D.C.'s antidiscrimination law applies to all employers.

What Government Agency Regulates Workplace Discrimination in D.C.?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that regulates workplace discrimination. You can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by calling 800-669-4000 or check out its website at www.eeoc.gov. The website will help you locate an EEOC field office in D.C. (See our article on filing a discrimination claim with the EEOC.)

The Office of Human Rights enforces state antidiscrimination law in the District of Columbia. You can contact the Office of Human Rights at 202-727-4559 or go to its website.

Talk to a Lawyer

Need a lawyer? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP ?

Talk to an Employment Rights attorney.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you