Human Rights Series: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

By Margaret Mitschke*

In celebration of Universal Human Rights Month and Human Rights Day on December 10th, Student Legal and Mediation Services is presenting a Human Rights Month Blog Series. This 2nd post in the series is about Title VII, the EEOC, and their roles in antidiscrimination and equal rights in the workforce.

Civil rights acts 1964

Title VII was passed as part of Public Law 88-352 in 1964, which forbade discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, or national origin. This law is commonly known as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. To implement the law, Title VII of the Act created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC’s official role is to, “investigate charges of discrimination against employers who are covered by the law*…if we find that discrimination has occurred, we will try to settle the charge…We also work to prevent discrimination before it occurs through outreach, education, and technical assistance programs.” The EEOC has offices in Washington, D.C. and 53 field offices throughout the United States. To find the office nearest to you, use the link here.

EEOC

The role of the EEOC expanded to enforce laws that prohibit discrimination based on religion, color, race, national origin, sex, disability, or age, and the discrimination can also not occur during hiring, promoting, firing, setting wages, testing, training, apprenticeship, or in any other terms or conditions of the employment.

The EEOC website also has a page for “Discrimination by Type”, which provides information on types of discrimination prohibited by the EEOC, as well as relevant laws, regulations, and policy guidance and frequently asked questions on:

  • Age;
  • Disability;
  • Equal Pay/Compensation;
  • Genetic Information;
  • Harassment;
  • National Origin;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Race/Color;
  • Religion;
  • Retaliation;
  • Sex; and
  • Sexual Harassment

There is also a page for other laws and statues enforced by the EEOC, including

  • Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA);
  • Sections 102 and 103 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; and
  • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

For more information on additional rights and resources as an employee in Texas, look at Part One of our Human Rights Blog Series: Texas Workforce Commission. If you have questions about your legal rights, please contact Student Legal and Mediation Services by phone at (936) 294-1717, email at slms@shsu.edu, or visit us in the LSC Room #330 to schedule an appointment with our attorney.

 

 

*The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website states that “Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws (20 employees in age discrimination cases). Most labor unions and employment agencies are also covered.”

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