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Discrimination At Work

Federal Employment Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination*

age discriminationThe following Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws prohibit job discrimination. These laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin;
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination;
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older;
  • Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments;
  • Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination against qualitative individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government; and
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1991, which provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment practices, and policies.

Under Title VII, the ADA and the ADEA it is illegal to discriminate in any of aspect of employment, including:

  • Hiring and firing
  • Compensation, assignment, or classification of employees;
  • Transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall;
  • Job advertisements;
  • Recruitment
  • Testing;
  • Use of company facilities;
  • Training and apprenticeship programs;
  • Fringe benefits;
  • Pay, retirement plans, and disability leave; or
  • Other terms and conditions of employment.

Discriminatory practices under these laws also include:

  • Harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age;
  • Retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices
  • Employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities;
  • Denying employment opportunities to a person because of marriage to , or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability. Title VII also prohibits discrimination because of participation in schools or places of worship associated with a particular racial, ethnic, or religious group.

Employers are required to post notices to all employees advising them of their rights under the laws EEOC enforces and their right to be free from retaliation. Such notices must be accessible, as needed, to persons with visual or other disabilities that affect reading.

Filing A Complaint

  • Anyone who believes that his or her employment rights have been violated can file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. This charge can also be filed by an individual, organization or agency on behalf of another person to protect their identity.
  • Charges can be filed by mail or in person at the nearest EEOC office. Individuals can all 800 669-4000 (voice) or 800 669-6820 (TTY) to contact the nearest EEOC office for more information on filing procedures.
  • All laws enforced the EEOC, except the Equal Pay Act, require filing a charge with the EEOC before a private lawsuit may be filed in court.

*Information compiled from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website. For complete information log onto their site.

About Annette Richmond, MA

Annette Richmond, MA, CARW, CCELW, is a Certified Resume Writer, Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, and former recruiter. Her career advice has been featured by Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Business Insider, Monster, Vault, and WSJ. She helps motivated, senior level professionals tell their unique career story. She also serves as executive editor of career-intelligence.com.


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