Virginia Workplace Discrimination Laws

Employment discrimination against protected classes is illegal in Virginia.

Federal and state law prohibit Virginia 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 Types of Discrimination Are Prohibited in Virginia?

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)
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender status
  • disability
  • age (40 and older)
  • citizenship status, and
  • genetic information.

In addition, Virginia state law also prohibits discrimination based on:

  • race (including ethnic hairstyles)
  • color
  • national origin
  • religion
  • sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
  • sexual orientation
  • gender identity
  • disability: physical or mental
  • age
  • genetic information
  • veteran status, and
  • marital status.

Which Virginia Employers Are Subject to the Antidiscrimination Laws?

Federal antidiscrimination laws apply to Virginia 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).

Virginia's governor signed the Virginia Values Act in 2020, which generally prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment and applies to employers with 15 or more employees.

However, for claims for termination based on any characteristic except for age, the law applies to employers with more than five employees.

For termination claims based on age, the statute covers employers with between six and 19 workers.

How Do I File a Workplace Discrimination Complaint in Virginia?

In Virginia, you have two options for filing a complaint of workplace discrimination. You can file a complaint with either:

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim of Discrimination in Virginia?

In Virginia, you have 300 days from the date of the most recent incident of discrimination to file a charge with the EEOC or state agency for claims based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, religion, genetic information, or disability.

What Government Agency Regulates Workplace Discrimination in Virginia?

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 The website will help you locate an EEOC field office in Virginia.

The Virginia Office of Civil Rights enforces state antidiscrimination laws. You can contact the office by phone at (804)786-2071 or visit its website.

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