Employment Law

Employment Discrimination

What are some of the major anti-discrimination laws at the federal level?

There are several numerous federal anti-discrimination laws. The major federal antidiscrimination law is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against workers because of their race, color, national origin, religion, and gender. It makes it “an unlawful employment practice for an employer … to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

Passed during the Civil Rights Movement, Title VII remains the leading anti-discrimination law in employment. Title VII also prohibits employers from retaliating against those employees who participate in Title VII proceedings or oppose employment practices that they reasonably believe are unlawful.

However, Title VII is not the only such statute. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) prohibits employers from discriminating against workers who are a certain age (40 years of age or older). The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibit employers from discriminating against employees with disabilities. Still another anti-discrimination law is 42 U.S.C. 1981, which prohibits intentional racial discrimination in employment.

The Equal Pay Act provides that women and men receive equal pay for equal work.


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