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Laws That Govern Us in Fair Employment Practices

The Civil Rights Act of 1866

All persons within the United States shall have the same right to make and enforce contracts free of racial discrimination.

The Civil Rights Acts of 1870

Section #1981 of the 1870 law prohibits racial discrimination in all aspects of contractual relationships, including written and unwritten employment contracts.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938

The FLSA requires employers to pay employees (a) at a rate equal to the minimum hourly wage, i.e., $4.25 for their first 40 hours of work per week, and (b) at a rate of one and one-half the times of their regular rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week.

Employees exempt from the FLSA’s standard minimum wage and overtime requirements are individual exemptions most frequently relied upon by employers such as, the "white collar exemptions" for executives, administrators, and professional employees.

The FLSA generally does not regulate employer practices with respect to vacations, severance or sick pay, rest periods, holidays, weekend or shift premiums, pay raises or fringe benefits.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963

This Act, which is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act, makes it unlawful to pay workers of one sex at a rate different from that paid the other sex for the same work.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment, including job advertising and pre-job testing, on the base of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In 1978, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII to prohibit bias on the basis of pregnancy.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

This statute prohibits employment discrimination against individuals aged 40 or older. It applies to employers of 20 or more workers, labor unions, and employment agencies.

Executive Order 11246 (1965), as amended in 1967

This prohibits job discrimination by all federal contractors or subcontractors with contracts in excess of $10,000 per year on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin and requires covered contractors to practice affirmative action. Covered contractors having more than 50 employees and receiving contracts in excess of $50,000 per year must develop a written affirmative action plan.

The Civil Rights Acts of 1971

The 1971 law prohibits employment discrimination committed by persons acting "under color of" state or local laws. It applies to race, color, gender, religious, or national origin discrimination.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

This prohibits sex discrimination by all educational programs receiving federal financial assistance.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section #503 of the law prohibits discrimination against disabled person by federal contractors. These employers are required to take affirmative action in hiring qualified individuals with disabilities. Section 504 of the Act prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities by institutions or programs that receive federal funds.

The Vietnam-Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974

This law requires affirmative action by government contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified veterans of the Vietnam era and disabled veterans. Obligates employers to rehire these qualified individuals other than temporary employees who leave work for military service and who apply for reinstatement within the set time limits.

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974

Requires a pension program for most employers of greater than 20 employees. In addition, requires an employer to communicate terms of all benefit plans to all employees.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

This statute prohibits employers of four or more workers from discriminating on the basis of citizenship status or national origin. The Act’s anti-discrimination provisions do not apply to illegal aliens and exemptions where citizenship is required by law.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

This statute prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in employment, public services and transportation, public accommodations and telecommunication services. Employers are required to consider making reasonable accommodations to a qualified individual with a disability by making existing facilities readily accessible and usable and restructuring the job, modifying work schedules, permitting part-time work, reassigning of the employee to a vacant position, acquiring or modifying equipment, unless the proposed accommodation would present an "undue hardship" for the employer.

Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990

Amends the age discrimination act to prohibit employers from reducing benefits because of an employee’s age.

Civil Rights Act of 1991

This statute allows for compensatory and punitive damages, previously available to only racial and ethnic minorities, to be sought by victims of intentional discrimination based on sex, religion or disability.

Last modified: April 23, 2007
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