Job Discrimination Considerations for Small Businesses

Many small businesses are not required by law to abide by the employment discrimination statutes enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) because they do not have enough employees to be regulated.  For example, Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to businesses with at least 15 employees forbidding them to discriminate against the disabled who are otherwise qualified for the position and The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) covers businesses with 20 or more employees.  The Equal Pay Act, however, typically applies to employers with more than one employee.

Most states have their own employment discrimination and equal employment laws that place tighter restrictions on small businesses.  Excluding Alabama, every state prohibits employment discrimination based upon race, religion, sex or national origin and many ban discrimination of the basis of age, disability and marital status.

To learn more about employment discrimination laws and how they affect your business, contact Joseph Messer at or call (312) 334-3440.