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.

StateLocal anti discrimination lawMinimum number of employees to file a claim
AlaskaYes2 employees
ArizonaYes15 empl犀利士
oyees to file a claim, except for sexual harassment, which has no minimum
CaliforniaYes5 employees to file a claim, except for sexual harassment, which has no minimum
ColoradoYesNo employee minimum
ConnecticutYes3 employees
DelawareYes4 employees to file a claim, except for disability cases, which has 15 employee minimum
District of ColumbiaYesNo employee minimum
FloridaYes15 employees, including age discrimination
HawaiiYesNo employee minimum
IdahoYes5 employees
IllinoisYes15 employees, except in cases of sexual harassment, physical or mental handicap discrimination and retaliation, which have no minimum
IndianaYes6 employees
IowaYes4 employees
KansasYes5 employees
KentuckyYes8 employees
LouisianaYesFederal law of 15 employees supersedes local law, which would make 20 employee minimum
MaineYesNo employee minimum
MarylandYesMinimum number varies by county
MassachusettsYes6 employees
MichiganYesNo employee minimum
MinnesotaYesNo employee minimum
MissouriYes6 employees
MontanaYesNo employee minimum
NebraskaYes15 employees, same as federal law
NevadaYes15 employees, same as federal law
New HampshireYes6 employees
New JerseyYesNo employee minimum
New MexicoYes4 employees
New YorkYes4 employees
North CarolinaYesFederal law supersedes local law, so 15 employee minimum. Public policy claims have no minimum.
North DakotaYesNo employee minimum
OhioYes4 employees. Public policy claims have no minimum.
OklahomaYes15 employees
OregonYesNo employee minimum
PennsylvaniaYes4 employees
Rhode IslandYes4 employees
South CarolinaYes15 employees
South DakotaYesNo employee minimum
TennesseeYes8 employees
TexasYes15 employees
UtahYes15 employees, including age discrimination claims
VermontYesNo employee minimum
VirginiaYes6 employees
WashingtonYes8 employees. Wage discrimination claims have no minimum.
West VirginiaYes15 employees. Public policy claims have no minimum.
WisconsinYesNo employee minimum
WyomingYes2 employees
Total states with exceptions47
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