Protections against discrimination in the workplace are important, but many workers may wonder exactly what protections they enjoy and what the legal basis for those protections is. Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, commonly referred to as anti-discrimination laws, prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from engaging in discrimination based on race, national origin, gender or religion.
Based on the employee's race, national origin, gender or religion, the employer is forbidden from refusing to hire, from firing, from failing to promote, from paying less or demoting, from denying training, from disciplining or from harassment. Discrimination based on pregnancy is also prohibited and employers are not permitted to adopt procedures or policies that have a significant impact on one group of workers protected by Title 7.
A Title 7 violation can be a serious concern for an employer to be engaged in. Workers who have been discriminated against must first pursue administrative remedies through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC. The EEOC will investigate the employee's claim and either take action or advise the employee to pursue legal remedies by filing a civil claim for discrimination against the employer. There are important time limits to be familiar with when bringing a claim to the EEOC and it is also worth bearing in mind that state laws may afford workers additional protections Title 7, which is federal law, may not.
When a worker has suffered employment discrimination, protecting their rights is important but can also be complex involving different steps and important deadlines. As a result, workers should be familiar with their rights, how to enforce those rights and the legal process that can help protect them.
Source: Employment.findlaw.com, "Employment Discrimination: Overview," Accessed April 25, 2017