The Legislative History of Title VII
At the outset of the Eighty-eighth Congress various Senators and Representatives submitted a plethora of civil rights bills. Some included comprehensive provisions relating to all areas of civic and economic life where discrimination existed, including private employment; others dealt primarily with equal employment opportunity in both private and public employment. The proposed methods of enforcement ran the gamutfrom those providing for a strong administrative agency, like the NLRB, with power to hold hearings and issue cease-and-desist orders enforceable in court, to those providing simply for conciliation and persuasion or merely further study and recommendations. Among the bills dealing primarily with equal employment opportunity was H.R. 405 entitled "A Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Employment in Certain Cases Because of Race, Religion, Color, National Origin, Ancestry or Age." H.R. 405 is the nominal ancestor of Title VII. It was introduced in the House by Mr. Roosevelt of California on January 9, 1963, the opening day of the 1st Session of the 88th Congress, and was promptly referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor. Following extensive hearings, the Committee reported the bill, with amendments, and recommended its passage. Following is a timeline of how and when Title VII was introduced. 1787
Article VI, U.S. Constitution prohibits religious discrimination. 1864
13th and 14th Amendments prohibited slavery and provided equal protection to all US Citizens. 1866
Civil Rights Acts which further defined protection embodied in the Constitution: the right to make and enforce contracts, the right to sue for damages, the right to be a party to litigation, the right of males to vote. 1883
Civil Service Act substituted merit for politics thereby abolishing the "spoils system". 1920
Fair Labor Standards Act covered minimum wages, overtime compensation, child labor, and other provisions of employment but did not cover Federal employees as enacted. 1940
Executive Order 8587, issued by President Roosevelt, stated the principle public employment could not be denied for reason of race, creed or color. 1940
Ramspeck Act provided a statutory ban on discrimination in the Federal Service based on race, color or creed. 1948
Executive Order 9980, issued by President Truman, established the Fair Employment board within the Civil Service Commission. 1955
Executive Order 10950, issued by President Eisenhower, directed that equal opportunity be afforded to all persons, consistent with the law, for employment in the Federal Government. 1955
Executive Order 10955, issued by President Kennedy, introduced the concept of affirmative action by directing "positive measures for the elimination of any discrimination, direct or indirect, which now exists". 1961
Equal Pay Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to prohibit discrimination in wages based on sex. Did not apply to Federal, state or local governments. 1964
CIVIL RIGHTS ACT. Title VII of this Act made it unlawful for an employer employing fifteen or more employees to discriminate in any practices, conditions and privileges of employment because of race, sex, color, religion and national origin. 1965
Executive Order 11246, issued by President Johnson, placed EEO in the mainstream of Federal employment by barring discrimination based on race, color, religion, or nation origin and placing responsibility for Government-wide guidance and leadership under the Civil Service Commission. 1967
Executive Order 11375, issued by President Johnson, amended Executive Order 11246 to prohibit sex discrimination in Federal employment. 1966
Age Discrimination in Employment Act, an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, prohibited discrimination against individuals 40 years of age and over in practices, conditions and privileges of employment because of their age. Did not cover federal, state and local governments....
References: Unknown (2001) TITLE VII SPECIAL ORDINANCES. Retrieved from (http://showcase.netins.net/web/cityofoxfordjunction/chapt3-6.html) August 8, 2004.
Unknown (2004) Protected Classes under Title 7. Retrieved from (http://users.aristotle.net/~hantley/hiedlegl/statutes/title7/protclas.htm) August 8, 2004.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Questions & Answers for Small Employers on Employer Liability for Harassment by Supervisors. Retrieved from (http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/harassment-facts.html) August 2, 2004.
Bennet-Alexander-Hartman (2003) Employment Law for Business, Fourth Edition. University of Phoenix text. McGraw-Hill Companies.
Walden, Gregory S. Legal issues posed in the language dilemma. Management Communication Quarterly. Thousand Oaks: May 2002. Vol. 15, Iss. 4; pg. 609 retrieved from http://proquest.umi.com on 7-26-2004
Eichner, Maxine N. Getting Women Work that Isn 't Women 's Work: Challenging Gender Biases in the Workplace Under Title VII. The Yale Law Journal. New Haven: Jun 1988. vol. 97, iss. 7; pg. 1397 retrieved from http://proquest.umi.com on 8-7-2004
Greenlaw, Paul S. Affirmative Action or Reverse Discrimination? Personal Journal. Santa Monica: Sep 1985. vol. 64, iss. 9, pg. 84 retrieved from http://proquest.umi.com on 8-7-2004
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