Discrimination Against Married Persons in the State of Michigan

Did you know that discrimination on the basis of whether a person is married is prohibited in Michigan? While many people know that Title VII prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, and sex, not everyone in Michigan knows about the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which provides that same protection to employees but also adds height, weight and marital status. This means that in Michigan, it is illegal to fire, not hire, demote, not promote, or mistreat an employee because that employee is married or not married. However, this law does not provide protection based on who your spouse is. Here are some examples:

John applies to work at ABC company. The hiring manager has had legal issues with John’s wife in the past and does not want to be more closely associated with her. John does not get the job because of who his wife is. This is not a violation of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

Jack applies to work at XYZ company. Most people who work at XYZ company are single and like to go out to the bars together after work. John is married, and the hiring manager thinks that John will not fit in because he may not want to party with his coworkers. John does not get the job because he is married. This is a violation of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.