Protected Classes and Employment Laws There are various federal and state employment and labor laws protecting both employees and employers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency responsible for interpreting, investigating, and enforcing federal employment laws against workplace discrimination. In Week 2, you considered the legal components in a job description. In Week 4, you analyzed forms of discrimination when conducting a performance appraisal. For this discussion, you will look at protected classes identified by the EEOC. Protected classes are groups of people with common characteristics that are legally protected from employment discrimination. – Describe three protected classes and the laws that exist to protect them. – Explain how the EEOC investigates complaints of discrimination against a protected individual. – Discuss how employers can prevent and respond to allegations of employment discrimination.