Under the state or federal anti-discrimination laws, employment discrimination can be lawful if you can show both a proper, relevant affirmative defense and that less discriminatory alternatives are not available. Except where otherwise noted, one or more of the following affirmative defenses may be appropriate in a situation to justify the employment practice in question.​​​

Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) as a Discrimination DefenseBusiness Necessity as a Discrimination DefenseJob-Relatedness as a Discrimination Defense"Reasonable Factor Other than Age" as an Age Discrimination DefenseSecurity Regulations as a Discrimination DefenseNondiscrimination or Affirmative Action Plans as a Discrimination DefenseThe “Same-Actor Inference” DefenseOtherwise Required by Law as a Discrimination Defense