The Workplace and Title VII
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the catalyst in abolishing the separate but equal policies that had been a mainstay in our society. Though racial discrimination was the initial focal point, its enactment affected every race. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in housing, education, employment, public accommodations and the receipt of federal funds based on certain discrimination factors such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or religion. Title VII is the employment segment of the Civil Rights Act and is considered one of the most important aspects of legislation that has helped define the employment law practices in this country. Prior to Title VII, an employer could hire and fire an employee for any given reason. Title VII prohibits discrimination in hiring, firing, training, promotion, discipline or other workplace decisions. (Bennett-Alexander-Hartman, Fourth Edition, pp 85) Though it applies to everyone, its enactment was especially significant to women and minorities, who until its passage had limited recourse in harassment based discriminations in the workplace.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that enforces the federal laws, policies and regulations as it relates to employment discrimination. Over the course of years, Title VII has been amended to reinforce its prohibitions to include pregnancy as a type of gender discrimination, jury trials, compensatory damage and punitive damages. Its amendments have also strengthened the enforcement policy of the EEOC. An employer and employee need to be aware of those areas that are and are not covered by Title VII. It applies to employers, unions, joint labor and management committees as well as employment agencies whose functions include referral and training decisions among others. It applies to all private, federal, state and local governments who employ 15 employees or more. An employer with less than...
References: Anheuser-Busch, Inc., v. Missouri Com 'n on Human Rights, 682 S.W.2d 828 (Mo.App. E.D. 1984)
Bennett-Alexander-Hartman, Employment Law for Business, 4th Edition, 85, 95, 97,
Griggs v. Duke Power, 401 U.S. 424 (1971).
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