The Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits an employer from discriminating based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, place of birth, age, or disability unless a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception applies (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 495). Therefore, employers should not use an application form that directly or indirectly solicits information pertaining to any of the protected characteristics.
Coverage. The law applies to all employers in the state, regardless of size (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 495d).
“Age” defined. In the state of Vermont, “age” is defined as 18 years of age or older (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 495(c)). The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers with 20 or more employees from discriminating against job applicants or employees who are 40 years of age or older. .
Retaliation prohibited. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against any employee or applicant for exercising his or her rights under the Act (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 495(a)(8)). Retaliation is prohibited under the following circumstances:
• An employee or applicant has filed a complaint, opposed any discriminatory practice, or cooperated with the state's investigation of such practices;
• The employer knows an employee is about to file a complaint or cooperate in an investigation;
• An employee has disclosed his or her wages or has inquired about or discussed the wages of other employees;or
• The employer believes an employee or applicant has taken any of the above actions.
Disclosure of wages. Employers are expressly prohibited from requiring, as a condition of employment, that an employee refrain from disclosing the amount ...