A protected class is a group of people who share common characteristics and are protected from discrimination and harassment. Some protections have the backing of federal and/or state laws.
Most people belong to most of the various protected classes. For example, each person is a member of the protected class of “sex” by being male or female. The same can be said for race, color, and several other protected classes. However, many individuals do not meet the criteria for membership of the protected classes of disability or veteran status.
The following table indicates the level of protection in place for each of the protected classes:
|Protected Class||Covered by Federal Law||Covered by State Law||Covered by NC State Policy|