What is Employment Discrimination?
Employment discrimination is the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of other people at work, because of their membership in a legally protected category. The guiding statute for employees of state government only is The Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) and Conditions for Employment under 21 V.S.A. §309 (flexible working arrangements).
Employment discrimination is the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently at work, because of their membership in a protected category. The governing statute for employees of state government is The Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) and Conditions for Employment under 21 V.S.A. §309 (flexible working arrangements).
Protected categories under employment discrimination are: Race, Color, Sex, Religion, National Origin, Disability, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Age, Ancestry, Place of Birth, HIV Related Blood Test, Worker's Compensation, Family/Parental Leave, Credit History
If you work for a private employer and believe you may have experienced discrimination visit the Vermont Attorney General's Office Civil Rights Web Page or call them at 888-745-9195.
IMPORTANT: The VHRC is currently NOT accepting complaints in public accommodations at this time. Based on current caseloads and staff availability, we expect to lift this restriction in September 2021. See alternative ways to file a complaint down below.
If your allegations do not relate to housing, consider filing a complaint through one of the agencies listed below:
- Office of the Attorney General - Civil Rights Unit (Vermont)
- Accepts complaints alleging discrimination in non-government employment.
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- Accepts complaints alleging discrimination in employment.
- U.S. Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division
- Accepts complaints alleging civil rights violations and unlawful discrimination.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office for Civil Rights
- Accepts complaints alleging discrimination by healthcare providers, including state and local governments, hospitals, pharmacies, and more.
- U.S. Department of Education - Office for Civil Rights
- Accepts complaints alleging discrimination by educational institutions (all public schools and most public and private colleges and universities).
If you need legal assistance, please note that the VHRC is a neutral investigatory agency and is unable to represent parties or provide legal advice. You do not need the VHRC to make a determination on your case in order to file in court. If you believe that your case is meritorious, you should seek the advice of an attorney immediately. Please note that your right to file a lawsuit may be time-barred and you should not wait if you wish to pursue litigation.
If you need an attorney and cannot find one, please contact the Vermont Bar Association.