Employment Discrimination

Federal and state laws to protect employees against employment decisions based on certain unfair criteria first passed in the 1960s. At the federal level, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 forbids sex-based wage discrimination against men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protects qualified individuals age 40 and older against age discrimination. Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 forbids private sector discrimination against qualified individuals based on disability. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 enhances employment protections set by earlier laws and authorizes compensatory and punitive damages in cases of intentional illegal discrimination (National Conference of State Legislatures, July 2004).

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