Human Rights and Equity Programs

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8AM-4:30PM M-F

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway Ste 318
Fairfax, VA 22035

Kenneth Saunders,

Employment Discrimination

Image of employee

Employment discrimination happens in the job recruiting or hiring process or in the workplace. It happens when employment decisions such as hiring, layoffs, pay or other work terms or conditions are based on factors other than qualifications or job performance.

Who is protected?

For employment discrimination to be illegal in Fairfax County, it must be based on someone’s race; color; sex; age (over 40); national origin; religion; disability, or marital status.

Discrimination based on other factors may be unfair or unethical, but are not specifically prohibited by law.

It is important to know that it is also illegal to discriminate against someone because they have opposed illegal discrimination, filed a complaint, or assisted in an investigation. This is called retaliation, and the law protects those who oppose illegal behavior.

Who is considered an employer?

A private employer with four (4) or more employees, employment agencies, labor organizations operating in Fairfax County, and the Fairfax County government are prohibited from discriminating against a person or group of person based on their membership in the above noted protected classes.

File a Complaint

If you believe you have been subjected to unlawful discrimination from an employer or potential employer located within Fairfax County, and the alleged discriminatory act occurred within the last 365 days, you may file a complaint.

Examples of discriminatory actions

  • firing or demoting someone based on her race or sex rather than job performance
  • lowering someone’s pay or paying them less than a co-worker with a comparable job, if the pay difference is based on their race, sex, etc.
  • refusing to hire someone because that person is over 40 years of age
  • applying a policy that negatively affects one group of people more than others (i.e. hurts only women or only men; or hurts a minority group or people of a specific religion or national origin)
  • offering different discipline, work terms, conditions, benefits or pay to one group than to others
  • refusing to make a reasonable accommodation for a worker with a disability
  • referring only women to secretarial or administrative jobs
  • Employment discrimination includes discriminatory job ads, racial harassment, sexual harassment, unequal pay, age discrimination and pregnancy discrimination among many other examples.

To file a complaint please complete the online questionnaire. For more information about discrimination in employment contact the OHREP at 703.324.2953, 711 TTY.

Fairfax County Government Applicant Appeals

Applicants, who have applied for positions with Fairfax County government, and were not employed by the County at the time of his/her application and who believes he/she has been discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, genetic information or his or her status as a veteran or disabled veteran during the selection process may file an appeal on the alleged discriminatory practice.