Invidious Discrimination Law and Legal Definition

Invidious Discrimination is treating a class of persons unequally in a manner that is malicious, hostile, or damaging. If there is rational justification for the different treatment, then the discrimination is not invidious. The criteria delineating the groups, such as gender, race, or class, determine the kind of discrimination.

Invidious discrimination generally refers to treating one group of people less well than another on such grounds as their race (racism), gender (sexism), religion (religious discrimination), caste, ethnic background, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, sexual preference or behavior, results of IQ testing, age (ageism) or political views. Discrimination on the basis of such grounds as subcultural preference (Punks, Hippies, Mods, vs. Rockers) is also common. The effects of invidious discrimination span the spectrum from mild, such as slow or unhelpful retail service, through racial and ethnic slurs, denial of employment or housing, to hate crimes and genocide.