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Essay Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

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"Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the single most important piece of legislation that has helped to shape and define employment law rights in this country (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2001)". Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, gender, disability, religion and national origin. However, it was racial discrimination that was the moving force of the law that created a whirlwind of a variety of discriminations to be amended into Title VII. Title VII was a striving section of legislation, an effort which had never been tried which made the passage of the law an extremely uneasy task. This paper will discuss the evolution of Title VII as well as the impact Title VII has had in the workforce.…show more content…
This was just three years after Congress had voted down an amendment to Title VII to include age discrimination as an unlawful employment practice (www.eeoc.gov). In 1972, Title VII was amended to include the Equal Employment Opportunity Act which promises equal opportunities for all of mankind. The Rehabilitation Act was passed in 1973 which prohibits the Federal Government, as an employer, from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities. In 1976, in General Electric Co. v. Gilbert, the Supreme Court ruled that health insurance for employees providing sickness and accident benefits for any disability but those arising as a result of pregnancy did not constitute sex discrimination under Title VII (www.eeoc.gov). Congress amended Title VII in 1978 by passing the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and made it clear that discrimination based on pregnancy is unlawful sex discrimination. This legislation reversed the Supreme Court's Gilbert decision in 1976. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1991 which overruled several Supreme Court decisions rendered in the 1980s that had made it more difficult for plaintiffs to prevail in their employment discrimination suits and to recover fees and costs when they won their lawsuits (www.eeoc.gov). The amendment stated that parties can request jury trials and those successful plaintiffs can recover compensatory and punitive damages in employment discrimination cases. This amendment has
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