A term used in United States anti-discrimination law. Relative to real estate, protected classes are associated with the terms “Fair Housing” and “Equal Opportunity Housing”. The term describes characteristics or factors which cannot be targeted for discrimination and harassment. The following characteristics are considered “Protected Classes”. The federal government has defined seven protected classes: race, color, national origin, sex, religion, familial status and handicap. Wisconsin adds an additional five: marital status, sexual orientation, lawful source of income, ancestry and age (18 and older).

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