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Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 164

Employment Law MGT. 44

Dan Cone

Help with essay on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Pamela Jones Facilitator

September , 00


The first paragraph of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution reads, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law, which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (1). Conceived in 1868 to address the discrimination of black people, the 14th Amendment provided the foundation to build a country where all people were truly created and treated equally.

For most of the next hundred years, discrimination overshadowed the 14th amendment’s ideology. There were laws regulating the separation of blacks and whites in every facet of life, from birth to death. In 164, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which created a legal basis for nondiscrimination in housing, education, public accommodations, federally assisted programs, and employment. This paper specifically addressed Title VII, the employment section of this act, which looks at the evolution of Title VII, who is covered and not covered under Title VII, the impact of Title VII on the workplace, and the policies companies should have in place to avoid potentially costly Title VII violations.

Title VII Evolution

With the passage of Title VII, the door was opened to legally prohibiting job discrimination and creating expectations of fairness in employment (Anderson & Hartman, 001, p. 65). In a free market system, where having a good job will have a significant impact on any person’s pursuit of life, liberty, and justice, Title VII quickly became the arbiter under the new Civil Rights Legislation.. As John Kennedy said when he introduced the legislation to Congress in 16, “There is little value in a Negro’s obtaining the right to be admitted to hotels and restaurants if he has no cash in his pockets or a job” (Anderson, p. 65). With the implications that jobs would have on the overall effectiveness of the Civil Rights objective, the wording in Title VII was designed to address all parties subjected to employment discrimination. Though President Kennedy singled out Negro’s in his speech for job discrimination, the fact was that many people, including whites, were subjected to a variety of employment discriminations. Since Title VII prohibits discrimination in hiring, firing, training, promotion, discipline, or other workplace decision on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, or religion, the statute permitted all United States citizens the legal right to due process concerning employment.

Who is Protected Under Title VII?

Title VII and the ADA cover all private employers, state and local governments, and education institutions that employ 15 or more individuals. These laws also cover private and public employment agencies, labor organizations, and joint labor management committees controlling apprenticeship and training.

The ADEA covers all private employers with 0 or more employees, state and local governments (including school districts), employment agencies and labor organizations.

The EPA covers all employers who are covered by the Federal Wage and Hour Law (the Fair Labor Standards Act). Virtually all employers are subject to the provisions of this Act.

Title VII, the ADEA, and the EPA also cover the federal government. In addition, the federal government is covered by Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 17, as amended, which incorporate the requirements of the ADA. However, different procedures are used for processing complaints of federal discrimination. For more information on how to file a complaint of federal discrimination, contact the EEO office of the federal agency where the alleged discrimination occurred ().

Exemptions to Title VII are limited. Exemptions include businesses operated in or around Native American Indians reservations, someone who is a member of the Communist party or other organization required to register as a Communist-action or Communist �front organization. The laws permit religious institutiions and asociations to discriminate when performing their activites (Alexander, p.6).

Impact of Title VII in the Workplace

To ensure compliance with the prohibitions in federal regulation, Title VII

established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and charged it with the administration of the act. The EEOC began operating on July , 165. The EEOC enforces the following federal statutes

· Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 164, as amended, prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;

· the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 167, as amended, prohibiting employment discrimination against individuals 40 years of age and older,

· the Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 16 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender in compensation for substantially similar work under similar conditions;,

· Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 10, prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of disability in the private sector and state and local governments;

· Section 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 17, as amended, prohibiting employment discrimination against federal employees with disabilities; and,

· the Civil Rights Act of 11 providing monetary damages in cases of intentional discrimination and clarifying provisions regarding disparate impact actions ().

As can be seen above, with the inclusion of several amendments to Title VII’s 164 wording, the additional legal strength of the Act has placed more limitations on how an employer conducts the recruitment, hiring, and policies to control the work environment. Collectively, the legal complexity of Title VII has made it difficult for any employer to completely understand all the federal implications of employing personal. In addition, many states have added additional employmment laws which further add to the legal complexities. On the surface what may appear to an employer as a simple nondiscriminatory action may in fact lead to a serious federal and or state discrimination infraction causing large legal bills as well as compensatory and punitive damages. Managers in the position to change policy or control people must be aware of the potential legal ramification of any decision reached which may cause undue and illegal hardship on its staff.

Policies to Avoid Title VII Violations

The goal of any company’s work atmosphere should be to create an environment to maximize the potential of every worker to improve the productivity and growth possibilities for everyone. Because employment law will continue to evolve as time progresses, managers need to develop strong policies, consistently and appropriately enforced, and provide an on-going training program as new issues emerge or laws change that effect current policy. Above all, look at policy through the eyes of those it will affect. If you deem it unfair in there eyes it perhaps is.


The Civil Rights Act of 164 was legislation intended to level the playing field in the pursuit of equality for all people. Individuals and groups have more freedom to pursue their dreams than ever before. Title VII has played a key role in the ideology that all people are equal and deserve to have the same opportunities as their peers. The process of equality for all is far from over. Discrimination is a complex issue, often conceived and ingrained into our subconscious through generations past. Title VII will undoubtedly play a key role in future improvements to Civil Rights through a process most Americans cherish, a free market system. A system that is not only free for enterprise but employees as well.


Alexander, D. D. & Hartman, L. P. (001) Employment Law for Business.

New York McGraw Hill.

(1) United States Constitution Retrieve on the World Wide Web

May 1st 00 http//www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.amendmentxiv

() The U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Retrieved on the

World Wide Web May 1st 00 http//www.eeoc.gov/statauth.html

() The U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Retrieved on the

World Wide Web May 1st 00 http//www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html

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