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Antidiscrimination (EEO) Law Information

May 12, 2017

Personnel actions affecting any term or condition of employment may not be based on an individual's:

  • Age (40 years or more)
  • Color
  • Genetic Information (protected types)
  • Disability (physical or mental)
  • National Origin
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy and childbirth)

Personnel actions affecting any term or condition of employment may not be in reprisal for an individual's:

  • Opposition to the types of employment discrimination (including harassment) listed above
  • Participation in any stage the EEO process

For more information about your rights and responsibilities under EEO laws see the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s webpage at

For information about the procedure for filing an EEO complaint against the SEC, see Equal Employment Opportunity Information for SEC Job Applicants and Employees - Filing Complaints of Employment Discrimination.

Hostile Work Environment Discrimination (Harassment) is Prohibited

Employees may not be subjected to unwelcome conduct in the course of employment because of their race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or disability.

Employees may not be subjected to unwelcome conduct in the course of employment because they have participated in the EEO process or expressed their opposition to employment discrimination.

Retaliation is Prohibited

Participation in the EEO process, and opposition to discrimination are protected activities, therefore employees subjected to harm in the form of adverse employment practices or decisions or harassment have the right to file complaints of discrimination.

Other Personnel Practices Prohibited by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. § 2302) and Executive Order 11478

In addition to the prohibitions contained in Antidiscrimination (EEO) and Whistleblower Protection Laws, under Merit System Principles, no personnel action in the federal government may be based on an individual's:

  • Marital Status
  • Political Affiliation
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Conduct not adversely affecting job performance

Reasonable Accommodation for Disability and for Religion

SEC provides reasonable accommodation for employees or applicants with physical or mental disabilities who request it to perform the duties of a position or to participate in the application process.

SEC also provides reasonable accommodation for the religious practices and beliefs of employees and applicants.

Federal Antidiscrimination Laws and Executive Orders

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 United States Code 2000e–16as amended by:
    • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (providing that employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions constitutes unlawful sex discrimination and that women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work)
    • Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment — Genetic information includes information about an individual's genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual's family members, as well as information about any disease, disorder or condition of an individual's family members (i.e. an individual's family medical history)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended by:
    • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967,
      29 United States Code 631,633a
    • Equal Pay Act of 1963,
      29 United States Code 206(d)
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 501
    29 United States Code 791
  • Civil Service Reform Act of 1978,
    5 United States Code 2302: Prohibited Personnel Practices
  • Executive Order 11478, as amended

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