TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964
Race, Color, Religion, Gender, Pregnancy, Or National Origin Discrimination
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity) or religion. The Act also makes it unlawful to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
Title VII prohibits not only intentional discrimination, but also practices that have the effect of discriminating against individuals because of their race, color, national origin, religion, or sex.
Under Title VII, it is unlawful to discriminate in any aspect of employment, including:
- Hiring and firing;
- Compensation, assignment, or classification of employees;
- Transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall;
- Job advertisements and recruitment;
- Use of company facilities;
- Training and apprenticeship programs;
- Retirement plans, leave and benefits; or
- Other terms and conditions of employment.
Discriminatory practices under Title VII also include:
- Harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity) or religion;
- Refusal or failure to reasonably accommodate an individual’s sincerely held religious observances or practices, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business;
- Employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), or religion;
- Denial of employment opportunities to an individual because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity) or religion; and
- Other employment decisions based on race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity) or religion.
Complaints under Title VII are filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees.
An individual with a disability is a person who:
- Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- Has a record of such an impairment; or
- Is regarded as having such an impairment.
A qualified employee or applicant with a disability is an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question. Reasonable accommodation may include, but is not limited to:
- Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
- Job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position;
- Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies, and providing qualified readers or interpreters.
An employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee if it would not impose an "undue hardship" on the operation of the employer’s business. Reasonable accommodations are adjustments or modifications provided by an employer to enable people with disabilities to enjoy equal employment opportunities. Accommodations vary depending upon the needs of the individual applicant or employee.
PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION ACT OF 1978
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
Pregnancy discrimination involves treating an individual –– an applicant or employee –– unfavorably in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits (such as leave and health insurance), and any other terms or conditions of employment.
AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1967
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects certain applicants and employees 40 years of age and older from discrimination on the basis of age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, conditions or privileges of employment.