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Major Legislation



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  1. Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. Chapter 21, is the major federal law prohibiting discrimination in employment. Title VII prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, color, religion or national origin, and covers all areas of the employee-employer relationship, from advertising open positions through termination or retirement. Enforced by EEOC.

  2. Civil Rights Act of 1991, PL 102-166, amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by: providing remedies for intentional discrimination and unlawful harassment in the workplace; co-defining the concepts of "business necessity" and "job related"; providing authority and guidelines for the adjudication of disparate impact suits; and responding to recent decisions of the Supreme Court by expanding the scope of relevant civil rights statutes in order to provide adequate protection to victims of discrimination.

  3. Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 U.S.C. § 206, prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of sex in the payment of wages where substantially equal work is performed under similar working conditions. Under this Act, the employer can establish different wage rates on the basis of (1) a seniority system, (2) a merit system, (3) a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, and (4) a differential based on any factor other than sex.

  4. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. Chapter 126, prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. Enforced by DOJ, Ed, and EEOC.

  5. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, PL 90-202, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-634, protects employees and job applicants who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment -- including, but not limited to, hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training.

  6. The Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 791, 793, 794(a), in Section 503 and 504, prohibits discrimination against the disabled and requires institutions to take affirmative action to hire and promote qualified disabled persons. Institutions are required to recruit and consider disabled persons for vacant positions, and must make "reasonable accommodation" to the physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified disabled employees, such as providing special equipment or modifying the job. Section 501 also requires affirmative action for hiring, placement and promotion of qualified individuals with disabilities.

  7. Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Equal Opportunity and Discrimination. About 50 laws and major regulations in EO topic areas, maintained by Fedlaw at GSA.