Q: “We are a small company with 12-15 employees at any one time. I get very confused on all the agencies that put out employment requirements. Can you tell me if the ADA, EEOC, etc. apply to us?” – Judy, Alaska
A: I hear you! The web of employment laws and their coverage can be confusing.
In general, the most significant anti-discrimination statutes administered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act) cover employers who have 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year. Note that you don’t have to have each of those employees working each day to be covered; it suffices if they are on the. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act calculates coverage the same way, except that you must have 20 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding year.
These thresholds may not matter much, however, because Alaska has a fair employment act that covers most employers with even one employee and prohibits many of the same types of discrimination that are prohibited for larger employers under federal law. The law prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, age (except in hiring), sex, physical or mental disability, marital status, pregnancy and parenthood. See, for example, Alaska Stat. §§ 18.80.200, 18.80.210, 18.80.220, 18.80.260, 18.80.300.