What are protected classes (also referred to as protected characteristics)?
Protected classes come from anti-discrimination law. We talk about them with respect to employment laws, but they also come into play in housing and education. The classes and characteristics protected by federal law include race, color, age (over 40), sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, religion, disability, national origin, ethnic background, genetic information (including that of family members), military service, and citizenship or immigration status. Click here to learn more about protected classes.