Labor Day 2014 offers workers around the United States a well-deserved break, a time to reflect on the year so far, and an opportunity to give thanks for the many right we as American laborers enjoy. This week we’ll be taking an extensive look at labor and employment issues around the nation in honor of the upcoming holiday.
While employees’ rights are protected by a patchwork of laws enforced by various authorities, perhaps no rule is more important to the promotion of equal employment rights than Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Signed into law 50 years ago, Title VII explicitly prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin and is a cornerstone of promoting equitable opportunities for all in the United States. Through those five decades, Title VII, other supporting acts and its enforcement body, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), have seen a number of changes. Here we’ll take a look at the milestones that have created that have sought to protect the employment rights of all Americans.
1) July 2, 1964 – Civil Rights Act passed /Equal Employment
2) 1967 – Age Discrimination in Employment Act forbids employment discrimination against anyone at least 40 years of age
3) 1972 - Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 allows EEOC to bring civil actions in federal court against private employers
4) 1978 – The Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions
5) 1980 - General Tel. Co. of the Northwest, Inc. v. EEOC allows EEOC to seek class-wide relief without being certified as the class representative
6) 1990 – Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 expands EEOC’s powers in prohibiting discrimination based on disability
7) 1991 – Civil Rights Act of 1991 allows possibility of compensatory and punitive damages in discrimination cases
8) 2012 – EEOC rules that transgendered workers are a protected class