Equal employment opportunity (EEO) is the concept that all individuals should have equal treatment in all employment-related actions. Several basic EEO concepts have been applied as a result of court decisions, laws, and regulatory actions. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the first federal law designed to protect most U.S. employees from employment discrimination based upon the employee’s (or applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. (Public Law 88-352, July 2, 1964, 78 Stat. 253, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e et. Seq.).  The title also established the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to assist in the protection of U.S. employees from discrimination.
Equal employment opportunity was further enhanced when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11246 on September 24, 1965, created to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, sex, creed, religion, color, or national origin. Along with these five protected classes, more recent statutes have listed other traits as “protected classes,” including the following: The Age Discrimination Act of 1967, prohibits discrimination against persons over age 40 and restricts mandatory retirement requirement, except where age is a bona fide occupational qualification; The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires employers accommodations for individuals with disabilities or are thought to possess, a wide range of disabilities, ranging from paraplegia, Down Syndrome to autism. However, it does not force an employer to employ a worker whose disability would create an “undue hardship” onto his business (e.g. a paraplegic cannot work on a construction site, and a blind person cannot be a chauffeur). ; Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 prohibits age-based discrimination in early retirement and other benefits plans. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 requires equal pay for men and women performing...
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