An employer cannot make decisions based on a protected characteristic. What is a protected characteristic?

A protected characteristic under the federal anti-employment discrimination laws is generally your race, gender, national origin, age, specifically being over the age of 40, religion, genetic information, color, and sexual orientation. In addition, certain conduct is considered protected under the federal anti-discrimination laws. For example, if you file a charge of discrimination or if you file an employment lawsuit or if you engage in an investigation or assist the EOC with its investigation of your employer, you’re protected from retaliation and discrimination.