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Title Vii Of The Civil Rights Act

1811 words - 7 pages

IntroductionTitle VII of the Civil Rights Act plays an essential role in defining the employment practices found in today's work environment. The law passed in 1964 prohibits employment discrimination and since its initiation, Title VII has sparked an increase in anti-discrimination laws designed to "promote fairness, equality, and opportunity within the workplace" (Bennett-Alexander et. al, 2003).The evolution of Title VIIThe Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed after the milestone March in Washington. In the largest march ever held in the United States, people of all races and colors gathered together to show legislature that racism would no longer be acceptable in society. Title VII, the section that deals with discrimination in the workforce is one small part of the larger piece of legislation. Title VII, of the Civil Rights Act, quickly became the most important arbiter of rights under the new law (Bennett-Alexander et al 2003). Title VII states that it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a prospective employee from being hired based on the individual's "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin" (Bennett-Alexander et al 2003). Even though this law covers the typical discriminatory aspects, it was the racial discrimination that was the spear head for Title VII. Beginning from African Americans being recognized as just slaves or an owner's property, our country strived to create new relations with the African American community. However, there were laws that regulated blacks and whites being separated in every component of daily living. The workforce has drastically changed since the passage of the act. Women and minorities are engaged in employment now more than ever. With the passage of Title VII, the door was opened to prohibiting job discrimination and creating fairness in employment (Bennett-Alexander et al, 2003). Soon after, protection against discrimination based on age and disability was provided.Title VII was amended several times after 1964. Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protecting individuals who are between 40 and 65 years of age from discrimination in employment. This was just three years after Congress had voted down an amendment to Title VII to include age discrimination as an unlawful employment practice (www.eeoc.gov). In 1972, Title VII was amended to include the Equal Employment Opportunity Act which promises equal opportunities for all of mankind. The Rehabilitation Act was passed in 1973 which prohibits the Federal Government, as an employer, from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities. In 1976, in General Electric Co. v. Gilbert, the Supreme Court ruled that health insurance for employees providing sickness and accident benefits for any disability but those arising as a result of pregnancy did not constitute sex discrimination under Title VII (www.eeoc.gov). Congress amended Title VII in 1978 by passing the Pregnancy Discrimination Act...

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