Employment discrimination laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees based on characteristics like age, disability, gender, race, and religion. But keep in mind that these laws don’t apply to all employers.
Whether an employer is covered depends on the type of employer and the type of discrimination.
To be liable for discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, or genetic information, a private entity must have had 15 or more employees for at least twenty calendar weeks in this year or last year. For age discrimination, a private employer must have 20 or more employees, and with the Equal Pay Act virtually all employers are covered.
State and Local Governments
Coverage for state and local governments is the same as for private entities, except that every state and local agency is covered in cases of age discrimination, no matter how many employees it has.
All federal agencies are covered by federal anti-discrimination laws no matter the number of employees they have, but they have a unique complaint process that’s different from the process for other employees.
Employment agencies, like temporary staffing or recruitment companies, are all covered no matter how many employees they have. These companies are prohibited from discriminating against their own employees and also in their referral practices.
Unions are covered for most types of discrimination if they have 15 or more members. For age discrimination, unions with 25 or more members are covered, and under the Equal Pay Act all are covered.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin by employers with 4 to 14 employees, and it also prohibits employers with 4 or more employees from discriminating on the basis of citizenship status.
Under the Family Medical Leave Act, a closely related law, employees are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in certain circumstances, but only if a private employer has 50 or more employees. The FMLA applies to all government agencies and public and private schools.
Nevada’s anti-discrimination laws apply to private employers with 15 or more employees in each working day for at least twenty calendar weeks in this year or last year. This employer coverage applies to all types of discrimination. However, Nevada gives exemptions to the following employers:
- The federal government;
- Indian tribes;
- Private membership clubs (if non-profit);
- Employers outside of Nevada;
- Religious organizations when the employee performs work connected with the organization’s religious activities; and
- Non-profit organizations in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
How Do You Count How Many Employees an Employer Has?
Counting the number of employees an employer has isn’t always simple. You can read more about it here.
Read more about employment discrimination here.