Ch. 14 – Law of Human Resources: Employment Discrimination
Protected classes: race, color religion, gender, age or disability.
1. The Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1871 – used today in employment cases applied to race discrimination
a. 1866 – guarantees to all persons in the US the same right to make and enforce contracts and to have the
full and equal benefit of the law
b. 1871 – enacted to prohibit discrimination by state and local government
c. In 1987, 1866 protected citizens based on their ethical characteristics; awarding monetary and equitable
remedies, compensatory, punitive, attorney fess under acts.
2. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – federal agency empowered to enforce anti -discrimination
laws by conducting investigations, interpreting statutes, promoting conciliation and filing lawsuits; power to seek an
injunction; members appointed by US president
3. Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964 – used to seek damages for discrimination; prohibits job discrimination based on
race, color, national origin, sex, and religion ; protects intentional or unintentional discrimination of protected
classes; applies to hiring, firing, promotion or demotion, compensation and fringe benefits, job training a nd
apprenticeship opportunities, etc. that would affect empl oyment opportunities, and any other term, condition or
privilege of employment.
a. 15 employees or more
b. all employment agencies,
c. labor unions with 15 or more members
d. state and local governments and their agencies
e. most federal government employment
f. Disparate-treatment discrimination: an employer treats a specific employee or individual differently than
others because of that person ’s race, color national origin, sex or religion.
i. Employee is member of protect class,
ii. Applied for or was qualified for position
iii. Did not receive position due to employer ’s rejection
iv. Employer maintained the position open and sought applicants with claimant ’s qualifications or
filled position with a person not in a protected class
v. Claimant must meet the burden of proof of illegal discrimination, defendant prove
nondiscriminatory reasons or an acceptable defense
g. Disparate-impact discrimination: employer discriminates through practices, procedures or testing although
such may not seem to be discriminatory, against an entire protected class.
i. Prima facie = meeting burden of proof that illegal discrimination occurred
ii. Claimant just prove (statistical evidence), employers conduct was discriminatory ; burden of proof
for defendant that discrimination was ju stified or did not occur. h. Claimant files complaint with EEOC, EEOC may investigate claims and attempt to reconcile. EEOC may file
lawsuit on behalf of claimant or issue a sue letter to cla imant.
i. Race, Color, and National Origin Discrimination – race is a protected class that refers to broad categories
such as Caucasian, Asian, native American, and African American; color is a protected class referring to a
person’s skin color; national origin protects against ancestry or ethic characteristics but not based on the
j. Religious Discrimination – does not provide absolute rights to an individual to exercise religion; employer
must provide reasonable accommodation to the employee to exercise their religion so long as the
accommodation does not cause an undue hardship on the employer; religious organizations can expressly
discriminate against other religions and give preference to a particular religion in their employment
k. Sex or Gender Discrimination – applies equally to men and women and employers are prohibited from
classifying occupations as male or female unless gender is essential to the job; Pregnancy Discrimination Act
of 1978 expand gender discrimination to expand to include discrimination against pregnancy.
l. Sexual Harassment – when hiring, promoting, salary increases, and positive evaluation practices are based
on sexual favors; hostile environment is sexual harassment when the workplace is permeated with
discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult that is sufficientl y severe or pervasive to alter the conditions
of the victim’s employment and create an abusive working environment. 1998 - same sex harassment is
i. Senior management must make clear its position that sexual harassment in any form will n ot be
ii. An explicit written policy on sexual harassment