Traliant Resources


Delaware Equal Employment Opportunity


Please review the information below and then return to the workplace harassment prevention course tab. 

Harassment and discrimination based on a protected characteristic are prohibited under both federal and state law.  The federal government and most state governments have agencies that help employers and employees understand these legal requirements and ensure compliance with the laws.

Protected Characteristics

Harassment or discrimination based on any characteristic set forth below is prohibited in Delaware.


  • race

  • color

  • national origin

  • sex (including pregnancy and related conditions)

  • gender identity or expression

  • sexual orientation

  • age (40 or older)

  • disability

  • genetic information

  • military or other uniformed service

  • religion


  • age
  • color
  • family responsibilities
  • gender identity
  • genetic information
  • marital status
  • national origin
  • religion
  • reproductive health decisions
  • sex (including pregnancy)
  • sexual orientation
  • status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses, or stalking
  • race (including hair that is part of the cultural identification of an ethnic group or that is a physical characteristic of an ethnic group such as braids locks or twists)
  • volunteer emergency responder status

Important Notes

In addition to the general protected characteristics listed above, some federal, state, and/or local laws also prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of other protected statuses in certain contexts, such as:

  • citizenship status,

  • emergency volunteer status,

  • family relationship with a co-worker, and/or

  • status based on information contained in criminal, background, or credit reports, or being subject to wage garnishments.


Likewise, some federal, state, and/or local laws prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation for exercising certain legal rights such as:

  • participating in collective bargaining or union activities,

  • serving as a whistleblower pursuant to whistleblower laws,

  • filing a worker’s compensation or unemployment claim,

  • taking protected time off or protected leave,

  • engaging in certain off-duty activities.

Finally, under federal law and some state and/or local laws, employers may not limit or prohibit employees from using any languages in the workplace unless there is a business necessity for the restriction.

Note also that some federal, state, and/or local laws provide additional, separate standards and remedies for certain prohibited conduct, such as laws addressing equal pay without regard to sex or other protected category or specifically addressing sexual harassment prevention measures.

Applicable Laws


The primary federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination include Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights ActThe Age Discrimination in Employment ActThe Americans With Disabilities ActThe Equal Pay ActThe Uniformed Services and Employment and Reemployment ActThe Immigration and Nationality Act, and The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The U.S. Supreme Court held that Title VII protects individuals from employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618 (U.S. June 15, 2020).


The primary state law prohibiting employment discrimination, including harassment, is the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act.

Delaware Definition of Sexual Harassment

The Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act protects all individuals against discrimination in the workplace based on gender. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination. All individuals in all workplaces, including employees, applicants, apprentices, staffing agency workers, independent contractors, elected officials, and their staff, agricultural workers, domestic workers, and unpaid interns, are protected against harassment and discrimination.

Sexual harassment of an employee is unlawful when the employee is subjected to conduct that includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an employee’s employment;

  • submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an employee; or

  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Some examples of sexual harassment include unwelcome or inappropriate touching, threatening or engaging in adverse action after someone refuses a sexual advance, making lewd or sexual comments about an individual’s appearance, body, or style of dress, conditioning promotions or other opportunities or sexual favors, displaying pornographic images, cartoons, or graffiti on computers, emails, cell phones, bulletin boards, etc., or making sexist remarks or derogatory comments based on gender.

Source: Delaware Sexual Harassment Notice

Retaliation Prohibited

It is a violation of federal and Delaware law for an employer to take action against you because you oppose or speak out against sexual harassment in the workplace.

Both federal and state law prohibit employers from retaliating or discriminating against any person because they opposed an unlawful discriminatory practice.

Retaliation can occur through direct actions, such as demotions or terminations, or subtler behavior, such as increased workload or being transferred to a less desirable location.

Both laws protect individuals against retaliation who have a good faith belief that their employer’s conduct is illegal, even if it turns out they were mistaken.

How to File a Complaint in Delaware

Employees may file formal complaints of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation with the agencies listed below. If you wish to pursue filing with these agencies, you should contact them directly to obtain further information about their processes and time limits.

Delaware Department of Labor, Office of Anti-Discrimination

An employment discrimination or harassment claim may be filed with the Delaware Department of Labor, Office of Anti-Discrimination within 300 days of the date of alleged discrimination or harassment.  You can contact the Office of Anti-Discrimination as follows:

Phone: 302-761-8200 or 302-424-1134

Office for New Castle County: Department of Labor
Office of Anti-Discrimination
4425 N. Market Street, 3rd Fl.
Wilmington, DE 19802

Office for Kent and Sussex Counties:
Department of Labor
Office of Anti-Discrimination
Blue Hen Corporate Center
655 S. Bay Road, Suite 2H
Dover, DE 19901

More information about filing a charge with the Office of Anti-Discrimination can be found here.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

An employment discrimination or harassment claim against an employer with at least 15 employees may be filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You may file a complaint with the Commission within 300 days of the date of alleged discrimination or harassment. To file a charge, call the EEOC or visit them online:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
1-800-669-6820 (TTY for Deaf/Hard of Hearing callers only)
1-844-234-5122 (ASL Video Phone for Deaf/Hard of Hearing callers only)

More information about filing a claim with the EEOC can be found here.

The EEOC District Office for Delaware is as follows:

Philadelphia EEOC District Office
801 Market Street, Suite 1000
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3126
United States
Phone: 1-800-669-4000 | 267-589-9700
Fax: 215-440-2606
TTY: 1-800-669-6820 | ASL Video Phone: 844-234-5122

Remedies for Unlawful Harassment or Discrimination

Remedies available for unlawful harassment or discrimination under federal and Delaware law include reinstatement, compensatory damages, punitive damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, and civil penalties.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only.
It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.