The Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on sex (including pregnancy), marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, unless a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception applies (DE Code Tit. 19 Sec. 710 et seq.). The Act applies to employers with four or more employees, including state and local governments (DE Code Tit. 19 Sec. 710).
Religious organizations are generally excluded from the provisions regarding sexual orientation and gender identity, except when an employee's job duties relate solely to an organization's taxable business income.
Gender identity. The Act defines "gender identity" as a gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of a person, regardless of the person's assigned sex at birth (DE Code Tit. 19 Sec. 710). Under the law, gender identity may be demonstrated by consistent and uniform assertion of the gender identity or any other evidence that the gender identity is sincerely held as part of a person's core identity.
The Act permits employers to have and enforce reasonable workplace appearance, grooming, and dress standards, except that an employee must be permitted to appear, groom, and dress in a manner consistent with the employee's gender identity.
BFOQ exception. An employer may base a hiring or employment decision on an individual's sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or gender identity only if it is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the employer's business. In order to be a BFOQ, a characteristic must be absolutely essential to the applicant's ability to perform the job (e.g., hiring a female to model women's clothing). The BFOQ exception applies only in limited ...