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In Bullying Facts, Bullying Laws

Bullying and Discrimination Laws by State

Discrimination and Bullying Laws by State

So, what about Bullying and Discrimination Laws

Nearly every state has adopted discrimination laws relating to employment. Frequently, state laws are similar to federal civil rights laws, offering additional protection against employment-related discrimination. However, a May 2012 report on bullying and discrimination from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted that while federal civil rights laws can provide protections against bullying in certain circumstances, “certain vulnerable groups are not covered and therefore have no recourse at the federal level.” A GAO recommendation to the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services said the agencies “should work together to develop information in their future surveys of youths’ health and safety issues on the extent to which youths in various vulnerable demographic groups are bullied.”

On piece of proposed federal legislation that could offer protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) students against bullying and discrimination in school is the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA). The bill is modeled after Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. The legislation was first introduced in Congress in March 2011 by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado in the House of Representatives and U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota in the Senate. While the bill initially died in committee, Polis and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida reintroduced the SNDA in the House on April 18, 2013, and Franken reintroduced the bill in the Senate on June 4, 2013.

According to LGBT equality-right advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), LGBT youth “identify bullying as a primary problem in their lives.” The HRC says that whereas non-LGBT youth identify the top three problems they face as grades, career choices and the future, LGBT youth identified their top three problems as family rejection (26 percent), school/bullying problems (21 percent) and fear of being out or open (18 percent).

While there is no federal law that specifically addresses bullying, there are some cases in which bullying overlaps with discriminatory harassment based on other factors. States have varying degrees of anti-bullying and discrimination laws.

Bullying and Discrimination Laws by state

Alabama has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, but no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Yellowhammer State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on age, visual handicap and physical disability.

Alaska has anti-bullying laws and policies, but the laws do not cover cyberbullying and no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Last Frontier prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, age, gender, marital status, pregnancy, physical disability, mental disability and retaliation.

Arizona has anti-bullying laws that cover cyberbullying. Harassment, intimidation or bullying is covered in the Grand Canyon State’s anti-bullying laws, but no definitions are given and there are no specific groups listed in the laws. Arizona prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, age, physical disability, mental disability, national origin, genetic test results, retaliation and religious or political beliefs.

Arkansas has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. Bullying is the term used in the Natural State’s anti-bullying laws, as harassment is covered separately. Arkansas prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, gender, mental disability, physical disability and retaliation.

California has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. Terms used in the Golden State’s anti-bullying laws include discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying. California prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, religious creed, color, gender, national origin, age, physical disability, mental disability, visual disability, medical condition, ancestry, arrest record, marital status, military status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, retaliation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, same sex relationship, genetic information and religious beliefs.

Colorado has anti-bullying laws and policies, but they do not apply to cyberbullying and no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Centennial State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, gender, age, disability, national origin, ancestry, criminal records and refusal to disclose arrest and criminal records that have been sealed.

Connecticut has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. The Constitution State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, mental disorder, learning disability, physical disability, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, retaliation, prior conviction of a crime, lie-detector tests, gender identity and gender expression.

Delaware has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the laws. The First State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, marital status, genetic information, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, handicap, retaliation and sexual orientation.

District of Columbia has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. The capital of the United States prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, family responsibilities, marital status, matriculation, personal appearance, political affiliation, sexual orientation, pregnancy, childbirth, tobacco use, retaliation, use of lie detector and unemployment status.

Florida has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. Bullying is the term used in the Sunshine State’s anti-bullying laws, as harassment is covered separately. Florida prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, handicap, marital status, AIDS/HIV and sickle-cell trait.

Georgia has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Peach State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, physical disability, age between 40 and 70, and retaliation.

Hawaii has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Aloha State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, disability, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, retaliation, required submission to lie detector tests, HIV infection testing, credit history, gender identity, gender expression, victim of domestic violence and arrest or court record.

Idaho has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Gem State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, religion, creed, color, gender, national origin, disability, age (for individuals at least 40 years old), retaliation and submission to lie detector tests.

Illinois has anti-bullying laws that cover cyberbullying. The Prairie State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, ancestry, marital status, citizenship status, physical handicap, mental handicap, use of lawful products such as tobacco, alcohol or nonprescription drugs during off-work hours, military duty status, discharge status, retaliation, credit history, pregnancy and ethnicity.

Indiana has anti-bullying laws, but they do not cover cyberbullying and no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Hoosier State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, religion, color, gender, disability, handicap, national origin, ancestry, age, retaliation, gun ownership and criminal records.

Iowa has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. The Hawkeye State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on age, race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, physical disability, mental disability, genetic test unrelated to occupation, HIV testing, and submission to a polygraph or drug test.

Kansas has anti-bullying laws that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the Sunflower State’s anti-bullying laws. Kansas prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, religion, color, gender, national origin, ancestry, physical handicap, age, genetic test results and retaliation.

Kentucky has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the Bluegrass State’s anti-bullying laws. Kentucky prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, HIV, smoking, physical handicap, pregnancy and retaliation.

Louisiana has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in Louisiana anti-bullying laws. The Pelican State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on age, disability, race, color, sickle-cell disease, religion, gender, pregnancy, national origin and criminal conviction.

Maine has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, with harassment, intimidation and bullying being specific terms used in the laws. The Pine Tree State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, physical disability, mental disability, ancestry, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, retaliation, and polygraph or genetic test.

Maryland has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, with harassment, intimidation and bullying being specific terms used in the laws. The Old Line State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, marital status, physical handicap, mental handicap, retaliation, sexual orientation, disability and jury service.

Massachusetts has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, but no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Bay State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, sexual orientation, handicap, AIDS, genetic information, pregnancy, sexual harassment, misdemeanors or non-conviction arrest information, and lie detector or HTLV III tests.

Michigan has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Great Lakes State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, marital status, height, weight, age, pregnancy, childbirth, handicap, AIDS, retaliation and union membership status.

Minnesota has anti-bullying laws that cover cyberbullying, but no specific groups are listed in the laws. Intimidation and bullying are terms used in the North Star State’s anti-bullying laws. Minnesota prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, activity in local commission, age, pregnancy, lie detector, drug test and acceptance of public assistance benefits or housing.

Mississippi has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the laws. Harassing behavior or bullying are terms used in the Magnolia State’s anti-bullying laws. Mississippi prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap and past or present active or reserve military service.

Missouri has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, but no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Show Me State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, ancestry, age, gender, familial status, handicap and retaliation.

Montana has anti-bullying policies, but they do not cover cyberbullying and the Treasure State does not have any anti-bullying laws. Thus, no specific groups are listed in the state’s anti-bullying policies. Montana prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, creed, age, physical disability, mental disability, marital status, gender, pregnancy, lie detector test and retaliation.

Nebraska has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Cornhusker State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, disability, marital status, national origin, age, pregnancy, retaliation and emergency volunteer status.

Nevada has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, but no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Silver State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religious creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, AIDS, national origin, genetic test results, pregnancy, retaliation, gender expression and gender identity.

New Hampshire has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. While no specific groups are listed in the laws, the Granite State prohibits bullying based on a student’s actual or perceived personal characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs, as well as bullying motivated by the student’s association with another person and based on the other person’s characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs. New Hampshire prohibits employment-related discrimination based on age, gender, race, color, marital status, religious creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation and genetic testing.

New Jersey has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. Terms used in the Garden State’s anti-bullying laws include harassment, intimidation or bullying. New Jersey prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, past or present handicap, AIDS/HIV, marital status, atypical hereditary cellular blood trait, genetic trait, draft status, retaliation, lie detector, use of employee assistance programs, military service and unemployment status.

New Mexico has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. Bullying is the term used in the Garden State’s laws, as harassment is defined separately. New Mexico prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, physical handicap, mental handicap, serious medical condition and retaliation.

New York has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. Harassment, bullying and discrimination are terms used in the Empire State’s anti-bullying laws. New York prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, color, national origin, age, disability, AIDS, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, marital status, arrest or conviction record, retaliation, lie detector test, sexual orientation, domestic violence victim status, military service and disabled person’s use of guide, hearing or service dog.

North Carolina has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. Harassing behavior or bullying are terms used in the Tar Heel State’s anti-bullying laws. North Carolina prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, age, gender, handicap, disability, off-duty use of lawful products, sickle-cell trait carriers, retaliation and genetic testing.

North Dakota has anti-bullying laws that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Peace Garden State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, acceptance of public assistance, participation in lawful activities during non-work hours, pregnancy and retaliation.

Ohio has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, but no specific groups are listed in the laws. Harassment, intimidation or bullying are terms used in the Buckeye State’s anti-bullying laws. Ohio prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, HIV, age, ancestry, pregnancy, juvenile arrest record and retaliation.

Oklahoma has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, but no specific groups are listed in the laws. Harassment, intimidation and bullying are terms used in the Sooner State’s anti-bullying laws. Oklahoma prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, genetic testing, pregnancy, religious practices and genetic information.

Oregon has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. Harassment, intimidation or bullying are terms used in the Beaver State’s anti-bullying laws. Oregon prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, religion, color, gender, national origin, marital and familial status, age, disability, expunged juvenile record, pregnancy, injured workers, retaliation, submission to breathalyzer test, lie detector, genetic testing, use of legal tobacco during non-working hours, domestic violence, credit history, domestic violence, unemployment status and military service.

Pennsylvania has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, but no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Keystone State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, familial status, religious creed, ancestry, age, gender, national origin, handicap or disability, use of service animal, refusal to perform abortion or sterilization, retaliation and lie detector test.

Rhode Island has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. Terms used in the Ocean State’s anti-bullying laws include bullying and cyberbullying. Rhode Island prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability, AIDS, age, country of ancestral origin, retaliation, lie detector test, domestic abuse order or petition, AIDS and smoking in off-duty hours.

South Carolina has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the laws. Harassment, intimidation or bullying are terms used in the Palmetto State’s anti-bullying laws. South Carolina prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, religion, color, gender, age, national origin, pregnancy, disability and smoking outside of the workplace.

South Dakota has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, but the state specifically restricts policies from mentioning specific groups. Harassment, intimidation or bullying are terms used in the Mount Rushmore State’s anti-bullying laws. South Dakota prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, gender, ancestry, disability, national origin, genetic testing and retaliation.

Tennessee has anti-bullying laws that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the laws. Harassment, intimidation, cyber bullying or bullying are terms used in the Volunteer State’s anti-bullying laws. Tennessee prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin, mental or physical handicap, AIDS, retaliation, victim of violence and religious or political beliefs.

Texas has anti-bullying laws that cover cyberbullying, but no specific groups are listed in the laws. Bullying is the term used in the Lone Star State’s anti-bullying laws, as harassment is defined separately. Texas prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, disability, religion, gender, national origin, age, pregnancy and retaliation.

Utah has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the laws. Bullying is the term used in the Beehive State’s anti-bullying laws, as harassment is defined separately. Utah prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, gender, pregnancy, age, religion, national origin, handicap, retaliation and false alcohol or drug test.

Vermont has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. Harassment, hazing and bullying are terms used in the Green Mountain State’s anti-bullying laws, although each is defined separately. Vermont prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, AIDS, ancestry, place of birth, retaliation, polygraph test, sale of precious metals or gems and genetic testing or counseling.

Virginia has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. Harassment, intimidation or bullying are terms used in the Old Dominion State’s anti-bullying laws. Virginia prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status and disability.

Washington has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying. Harassment, intimidation or bullying are terms used in the Evergreen State’s anti-bullying laws. Washington prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, age, mental disability, physical disability, AIDS, military status, marital status, retaliation, lie detector test, use of guide or service animal and credit information.

West Virginia has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, but no specific groups are listed in the laws. Harassment, intimidation or bullying are terms used in the Mountain State’s anti-bullying laws. The state prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, AIDS, visual handicap, familial status, ancestry, retaliation, lie detector test and state military or law enforcement entities.

Wisconsin has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, although no specific groups are listed in the laws. The Badger State prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, gender, marital status, national origin, age, handicap, ancestry, arrest record, conviction record, sexual orientation, military status, use or nonuse of lawful products off premises during nonworking hours, retaliation, pregnancy, lie detector test, AIDS test, genetic test and declining to attend a meeting or to participate in any communication about religious matters or political matters.

Wyoming has anti-bullying laws and policies that cover cyberbullying, but no specific groups are listed in the laws. Harassment, intimidation or bullying are terms used in the Equality State’s anti-bullying laws. The state prohibits employment-related discrimination based on race, color, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, ancestry, off-the-job use of tobacco and retaliation.

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