Thursday, July 12, 2012

Title VII

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The following sections of the Civil Rights Act of 164 completely changed the way individuals do business today as compared to 40 years ago.

(a) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer�

(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise 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; or

() to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or

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otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Before the Civil Rights Act of 164, the United States of America had laws regulating the separation of blacks and whites. The laws kept blacks and whites from doing things that people take for granted today. It kept them from simple things like marrying, going to school together, or working together. The laws kept blacks and whites from going to the same places like hospitals, theaters, restaurants, cemeteries, libraries, parks, stores and swimming pools. Blacks were not even allowed to live in the same neighborhoods as whites. They had their own housing developments. Before 164, all of this was standard.

Eventually people all over the country had had enough. People of all races began trying to fight these laws. They did things like sit-ins, boycotts, and “freedom rides”, for the right for nonsegregated accommodations. The entire country was in an uproar. The Civil Rights Act of 164 was passed soon after the historic march on Washington in August of 16. During this march, people of all walks of life got together and held the largest movement ever in the U.S. to show their disapproval of the way this country allowed legalized racism. On that day was when Martin Luther King Jr. gave the famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

President John F. Kennedy stated in his original message 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 pocket and no job.” This statement helped change the face of the workplace. After the enactment was in place, it was amended several times. There was the passage of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 17 and Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 178. The Act was also amended by the Civil Rights Act of 11. It added things like jury trials where compensatory and punitive damages are sought. It allowed individuals to seek damages if an employer discriminated against gender and disability. The law already allowed this for race and national origin.

The Civil Rights Act of 164 also allowed for many more women and minorities to hold more prestigious positions in America than ever before. Employers today are no longer allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religious beliefs, color or national origin. When an employer is making decisions regarding the hiring, firing, training, discipline, compensation, benefits, classification, or other terms of conditions on employment they must take into consideration the laws that have been created since 164. In the past employers could make decisions regarding those listed above and they would go unchallenged. This, along with other laws in effect regarding labor laws and minimum pay, made every employer much more cautious of the actions they would take on a daily basis.

The Civil Rights Act of 164 covers all levels and all types of governmental and private employees. Some laws such as the labor laws do not apply to managerial positions and wage and hour laws do not apply to certain types of workers like independent contractors. The Civil Rights Act of 11 extended the coverage to U.S. employees outside the United States for American employees. Anyone working in the U.S. that in not an American citizen is covered but not if they are working outside of the country.

There are very few people who are not covered in the U.S. They include Native American businesses operating on reservations. The law allows these employers to give preferential treatment to Native Americans. The law does not protect individuals who are a member of the Communist party or other organization that requires them to register as a Communist-action or Communist-front organization. The law also allows religious organizations to sometimes choose who they employ based on religious preference.

The single most important thing employers’ can do to keep themselves from getting sued is to be educated with the laws regarding employee discrimination. They need to have a clear understanding of the laws and be able to communicate them to other people within the organization. Employers and employees alike need to know what Title VII is, what it requires, and whom it applies to. Employees should know how their actions could bring liability upon the employer and that all employees have the right not be illegally discriminated against.

According to studies at the University of Mexico, some policies that should be in place include maintaining accurate, up-to-date job descriptions; conducting accurate, timely, and consistent performance evaluations; linking employment decisions with valid performance data; being consistent and document the basis for your employment decisions; and being prepared to defend your decisions.

In conclusion, the Civil Rights Act of 164 was put in place to protect individuals whom were being discriminated against. President John F. Kennedy brought it to light mostly because of the legalized discrimination against blacks. Over the years, it has helped changed the way Americans treat one another and has reduced blatant discrimination by not only employers but also the general public as well. It has helped not only black individuals but also women and people of all other races. It has also brought a sense of balance to the workplace. Studies have shown that a business with an assortment of different types of employees with different backgrounds seems to run smoother than a place with all white males or all females. Without the laws that were put in place by the Civil Rights Act of 164, it is clear that America would be a much different place to live in today.

Resources

Bennett-Alexander, D. D. & Hartman, L.P. (001). Employment Law for Business, Third Edition, Custom Edition for the University of Phoenix. The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Civil Rights at Work at the University of New Mexico, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 164. Retrieved October 7, 00, from http//www.unm.edu/~hrinfo/Civilrights/step_1.htm



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