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Protected Characteristics

Equal Employment Opportunity

Understanding and Expanding Workforce Diversity

Apprenticeship helps employers attract and retain a skilled workforce, and American apprenticeship programs are most effective when they include individuals from all backgrounds. The apprenticeship Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations require that sponsors of apprenticeship programs avoid discrimination on the bases of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age (40 and older), sexual orientation and genetic information. Expanding diversity establishes a culture of inclusion and promotes success for both apprentices and businesses.

The pages depicted below include information on the characteristics protected from discrimination under the apprenticeship EEO regulations. Visit these pages to:

  • Understand more about protections from discrimination
  • Learn tips for avoiding discrimination, harassment and retaliation in apprenticeship programs
  • Access resources to promote inclusion in recruiting, hiring and retaining apprentices




EEO Complaint Procedures

The apprenticeship EEO regulations require sponsors to take certain concrete steps to ensure their hiring practices are free from discrimination. Tips for Avoiding Discrimination in Apprenticeship Recruiting and Hiring and Non-discriminatory Apprenticeship Selection Procedures provide practical suggestions for sponsors.