Discrimination claims take on one of two general forms, disparate (unequal) treatment claims, in which an employee is claiming that the employer treated them differently than others based of their protected class, and disparate impact claims in which employees argue that a facially neutral employment practice or policy impacts a protected class unequally.

Job applicants and employees can pursue discrimination claims with administrative agencies like the EEOC and Civil Rights Department (CRD), formerly known as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, or they can file discrimination claims in civil court. The sections below will explore in more detail how employees pursue these claims, what they have to prove to establish discrimination, how employers should respond to discrimination complaints, i.e., investigations, and how to defend discrimination claims.