Discrimination occurs when a person or group of people are treated differently as a result of some personal characteristic, such as age, gender, skin color, disability or national origin. A number of federal laws ban discrimination against certain groups (known as "protected classes") in a variety of settings, including on the job and in housing. State and local laws often reinforce these bans and make it illegal to discriminate against classes not protected under federal laws. If you feel as if you've been discriminated against, talk to a law firm or attorney with experience handling discrimination claims. There are legally proscribed processes for addressing various types of discrimination, and your lawyer will be able to guide you through the complaint resolution process.