laws-against-workplace-discrimination

Many states have local state laws that make workplace discrimination illegal. These laws complement the federal anti-discrimination law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964).

The federal level Title VII places anti-discriminatory requirements against private employers who employ at least 15 people, so it doesn’t cover smaller employers.

Many times however, state level anti-discrimination laws lower this number considerably. This means that in many states, local law that prohibits discrimination at the workplace applies to smaller employers as well.

State workplace discrimination laws and the number of employees to be enforceable

All but 3 states have local anti-discrimination laws. Have a look at the table below to see which states have passed relevant legislation, as well as how the local law affects the minimum number of employees that must be employed at a company, for the law to have effect.

State Local anti discrimination law Minimum number of employees to file a claim
Alabama No N/A
Alaska Yes 2 employees
Arizona Yes 15 employees to file a claim, except for sexual harassment, which has no minimum
Arkansas No N/A
California Yes 5 employees to file a claim, except for sexual harassment, which has no minimum
Colorado Yes No employee minimum
Connecticut Yes 3 employees
Delaware Yes 4 employees to file a claim, except for disability cases, which has 15 employee minimum
District of Columbia Yes No employee minimum
Florida Yes 15 employees, including age discrimination
Georgia No N/A
Hawaii Yes No employee minimum
Idaho Yes 5 employees
Illinois Yes 15 employees, except in cases of sexual harassment, physical or mental handicap discrimination and retaliation, which have no minimum
Indiana Yes 6 employees
Iowa Yes 4 employees
Kansas Yes 5 employees
Kentucky Yes 8 employees
Louisiana Yes Federal law of 15 employees supersedes local law, which would make 20 employee minimum
Maine Yes No employee minimum
Maryland Yes Minimum number varies by county
Massachusetts Yes 6 employees
Michigan Yes No employee minimum
Minnesota Yes No employee minimum
Mississippi No N/A
Missouri Yes 6 employees
Montana Yes No employee minimum
Nebraska Yes 15 employees, same as federal law
Nevada Yes 15 employees, same as federal law
New Hampshire Yes 6 employees
New Jersey Yes No employee minimum
New Mexico Yes 4 employees
New York Yes 4 employees
North Carolina Yes Federal law supersedes local law, so 15 employee minimum. Public policy claims have no minimum.
North Dakota Yes No employee minimum
Ohio Yes 4 employees. Public policy claims have no minimum.
Oklahoma Yes 15 employees
Oregon Yes No employee minimum
Pennsylvania Yes 4 employees
Rhode Island Yes 4 employees
South Carolina Yes 15 employees
South Dakota Yes No employee minimum
Tennessee Yes 8 employees
Texas Yes 15 employees
Utah Yes 15 employees, including age discrimination claims
Vermont Yes No employee minimum
Virginia Yes 6 employees
Washington Yes 8 employees. Wage discrimination claims have no minimum.
West Virginia Yes 15 employees. Public policy claims have no minimum.
Wisconsin Yes No employee minimum
Wyoming Yes 2 employees
Total states with exceptions 47
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