According to plain English, to “discriminate” simply means “to distinguish by discerning or exposing differences.” Most people do this daily, on a multitude of levels. However, in the context of civil rights laws, unlawful discrimination refers to the unfair or unequal treatment of an individual based on their unique characteristics. Employment discrimination can take many forms, including failure to hire or promote, discipline, and/or wrongful termination. Both state and federal laws regulate illegal discrimination in the below-listed areas. For more information regarding a specific topic, click on the highlighted word.