State workplace discrimination laws
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|
|Arizona||Yes||15 employees to file a claim, except for sexual harassment, which has no minimum|
|California||Yes||5 employees to file a claim, except for sexual harassment, which has no minimum|
|Colorado||Yes||No employee minimum|
|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|
|Hawaii||Yes||No employee minimum|
|Illinois||Yes||15 employees, except in cases of sexual harassment, physical or mental handicap discrimination and retaliation, which have no minimum|
|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|
|Michigan||Yes||No employee minimum|
|Minnesota||Yes||No employee minimum|
|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.|
|Oregon||Yes||No employee minimum|
|Rhode Island||Yes||4 employees|
|South Carolina||Yes||15 employees|
|South Dakota||Yes||No employee minimum|
|Utah||Yes||15 employees, including age discrimination claims|
|Vermont||Yes||No employee minimum|
|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|
|Total states with exceptions||47||–|
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