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Delaware Department of Labor

Sexual Orientation-Based Employment Discrimination

The Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA) protects individuals against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as well as age, race, color, sex, national origin, marital status, genetic information and religion. It applies to employers with 4 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations.

It is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of his/her sexual orientation (heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality) in regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment.

The Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA) prohibitions against sexual orientation-based discrimination also cover:

Harassment: Harassment on the basis of sexual orientation violates the DDEA. Sexual orientation-based slurs, derogatory “jokes,” offensive or derogatory comments, or other verbal or physical conduct based on an individual’s sexual orientation constitutes unlawful harassment if the conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment or interferes with the individual’s work performance.

Benefits (privileges of employment): Denying a privilege of employment that an employee is otherwise eligible to obtain or making special application requirements/barriers for that benefit which only apply to individuals because of an individual’s sexual orientation violates the DDEA.

It is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on sexual orientation or for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under the DDEA.

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