Neutral policies as discrimination
You have the responsibility to ensure equal opportunity for workers.
As an employer, you have the responsibility to prevent discrimination in the workplace for job applicants and employees. But, if you’re a covered employer you also may not have neutral employment policies and practices that have a disproportionately negative effect on applicants or employees of a particular race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, sexual orientation, or national origin, or on an individual with a disability or class of individuals with disabilities, if the policies or practices at issue are not job-related and necessary to the operation of the business.
For example, if you had in place a weight lifting requirement (e.g. the ability to lift 75 pounds), when the actual job either doesn’t require any physical lifting or only requires lifting less weight (e.g. 25 pounds), this may have a negative impact on female applicants or applicants with a disability.
You’re also prohibited from using neutral employment policies and practices that have a disproportionately negative impact on employees age 40 or older, if the policies or practices at issue are not based on a reasonable factor other than age. Some employers who have Federal contracts or subcontracts are prohibited from having neutral employment policies that have a disproportionately negative effect on applicants or employees who are protected veterans unless those policies are job-related and consistent with business necessity.
Questions? We’re here to help.
We are committed to helping you understand your responsibilities as an employer. For additional assistance, please contact:
- Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP): 1-800-397-6251 or the OFCCP Help Desk
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): 1-800-669-4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org