2012 Vermont Statutes
Title 21 Labor
Chapter 5 EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
§ 495 Unlawful employment practice


21 V.S.A. § 495. What's This?

§ 495. Unlawful employment practice

(a) It shall be unlawful employment practice, except where a bona fide occupational qualification requires persons of a particular race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, place of birth, age, or physical or mental condition:

(1) For any employer, employment agency, or labor organization to discriminate against any individual because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, place of birth, or age or against a qualified disabled individual;

(2) For any person seeking employees or for any employment agency or labor organization to cause to be printed, published, or circulated any notice or advertisement relating to employment or membership indicating any preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based upon race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, place of birth, age, or disability;

(3) For any employment agency to fail or refuse to classify properly or refer for employment or to otherwise discriminate against any individual because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, place of birth, or age or against a qualified disabled individual;

(4) For any labor organization, because of race, color, religion ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, place of birth, or age to discriminate against any individual or against a qualified disabled individual or to limit, segregate or qualify its membership;

(5) For any employer, employment agency, or labor organization to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has lodged a complaint of discriminatory acts or practices or has cooperated with the attorney general or a state's attorney in an investigation of such practices, or is about to lodge a complaint or cooperate in an investigation, or because such employer believes that such employee may lodge a complaint or cooperate with the attorney general or state's attorney in an investigation of discriminatory acts or practices;

(6) For any employer, employment agency, labor organization or person seeking employees to discriminate against, indicate a preference or limitation, refuse properly to classify or refer, or to limit or segregate membership, on the basis of a person's having a positive test result from an HIV-related blood test;

(7) For any employer, employment agency, labor organization or person seeking employees to request or require an applicant, prospective employee, employee, prospective member, or member to have an HIV-related blood test as a condition of employment or membership, classification, placement, or referral;

(8) For any employer, employment agency, labor organization, or person seeking employees to discriminate between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees of one sex at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of the other sex for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and is performed under similar working conditions. An employer who is paying wages in violation of this section shall not reduce the wage rate of any other employee in order to comply with this subsection.

(A) An employer may pay different wage rates under this subsection when the differential wages are made pursuant to:

(i) A seniority system.

(ii) A merit system.

(iii) A system in which earnings are based on quantity or quality of production.

(iv) Any factor other than sex.

(B) No employer may do any of the following:

(i) Require, as a condition of employment, that an employee refrain from disclosing the amount of his or her wages.

(ii) Require an employee to sign a waiver or other document that purports to deny the employee the right to disclose the amount of his or her wages.

(iii) Discharge, formally discipline, or otherwise discriminate against an employee who discloses the amount of his or her wages.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not be construed to limit the rights of employers to discharge employees for good cause shown.

(c) The provisions of this section prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age shall apply for the benefit of persons 18 years of age or older.

(d)(1) An employee shall not have a cause of action in negligence for any injury occurring to the employee on the account of an employer complying with subdivisions (a)(6) and (7) of this section.

(2) A person shall not have a cause of action in negligence for any injury occurring to the person on the account of an employer complying with subdivisions (a)(6) and (7) of this section.

(e) The provisions of this section prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity shall not be construed to prohibit or prevent any religious or denominational institution or organization, or any organization operated for charitable or educational purposes, which is operated, supervised, or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, from giving preference to persons of the same religion or denomination or from taking any action with respect to matters of employment which is calculated by the organization to promote the religious principles for which it is established or maintained.

(f) The provisions of this section prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity shall not be construed to change the definition of family or dependent in an employee benefit plan.

(g) Notwithstanding any provision of this subchapter, an employer shall not be prohibited from establishing and enforcing reasonable workplace policies to address matters related to employees' gender identity, including permitting an employer to establish a reasonable dress code for the workplace. (Added 1963, No. 196, § 1; amended 1971, No. 9, eff. Feb. 25, 1971; 1975, No. 198 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1981, No. 65, § 1; 1987, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 1987, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 1991, No. 135 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 1999, No. 19, § 4; 1999, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2001, No. 81 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 25, 2002; 2005, No. 10, § 1; 2007, No. 41, § 18.)

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