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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Youth at Work

Managers have five basic responsibilities under the federal discrimination laws:


A young female giving a look of concentration

Don't Discriminate

Any decisions you make about other employees, such as hiring, firing, scheduling, or assigning work tasks, should not be made because of a person's race, skin color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, age (age 40 or older) or genetic information. You also may not harass an employee for any of these reasons.


Report Discrimination

You have a duty to bring any unfair treatment or harassment to your employer's attention. As a manager, you must act immediately to correct the situation.


Don't Punish Employees for Reporting Discrimination

Employees have a right to complain about treatment that they believe is illegal job discrimination. You cannot punish employees, treat them differently, or harass them because they report job discrimination or help someone else report job discrimination, even if it turns out that the conduct was not illegal.


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Grant Requests for Workplace Changes

You may be asked to make changes to the workplace or to workplace rules because of a person’s religious beliefs or disability. For example, a Jewish employee may ask to change her schedule to observe the Sabbath or an employee with a disability may ask to sit on a stool, rather than stand, while he works.

In general, you must carefully consider each request and whether it would be possible. However, it is not always easy to determine the answer to these questions, so you should always check with more senior managers about your company’s policies


Keep Employee Genetic and Medical Information Private

The laws enforced by EEOC strictly limit when you can ask an employee about his or her medical condition or genetic information. In general, you should not ask employees for this information. There are very limited exceptions to these rules.

In addition, in general, the laws enforced by EEOC require that you keep an employee’s genetic information and medical information private. This means that you should not discuss this information with others in the workplace, in most instances. There are very limited exceptions to the confidentiality requirements in the laws enforced by EEOC.