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AA/EEO Laws

Make yourself aware of the current Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity laws and acts, as seen below, so you know your rights.

Major Federal Civil Rights Laws

ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA)

The ADAAA emphasizes that the definition of disability should be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA and generally shall not require extensive analysis. Employment provisions are enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits age discrimination in employment by private or governmental employees with 20 or more employees against persons 40 years of age or older. The Act covers hiring, discharge, and classification as well as other terms and conditions of employment. The ADEA is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Age Discrimination Act of 1975

The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. The Age Discrimination Act is enforced by the federal department or agency with which the contract is made.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 guarantees equal opportunity in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications for individuals with disabilities. This provision is based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. On July 26, 1992, the Act became applicable to businesses employing twenty-five or more persons and on July 26, 1994 it became applicable to employers of fifteen or more. The ADA is enforced by several agencies depending on the individual provision. Employment provisions are enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Civil Rights Act of 1991

The Civil Rights Act of 1991 allows employees who file suit for intentional discrimination under certain laws to have a jury trial and to collect compensatory and punitive damages. The Civil Rights Act is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the judicial system.

Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA)

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) prohibits discrimination between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any factor other than sex. An employer who is paying a wage rate differential in violation of this subsection shall not, in order to comply with the provisions of this subsection, reduce the wage rate of any employee. The EPA is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Executive Order 11246

Executive Order 11246 prohibits employment discrimination in institutions or agencies which have contracts with the federal government for $10,000 or more. Those institutions with a federal contract of $50,000 or more and 50 or more employees are required to develop written affirmative action plans with numerical goals and timetables. Although the contract may involve only one unit within the institution, the affirmative action plan must cover all employees throughout the institution. Prohibited discrimination involves race, sex, color, religion, or national origin. Essentially the same as Title VII with respect to the particular terms and conditions of employment covered. Executive Order 11246 is enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Immigration Reform & Control Act of 1986

The Immigration Reform & Control Act of 1986 contains an anti-discrimination section which applies to employers having four or more employees and which prohibits employers from: (1) discriminating against aliens who intend to become U.S. citizens but have not begun the paperwork to do so; (2) retaliating against individuals who file discrimination charges under the Act; (3) requesting applicants to provide more or different documents than required by law; and (4) refusing to honor documents that on their face reasonably appear to be genuine. Claims of national origin discrimination against employers with 15 or more employees must be filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may also apply if the discrimination occurs on the basis of national origin. The Immigration Reform and Control Act is enforced by the Office of Special Counsel and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA)

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Women who are affected by pregnancy or related conditions must be treated in the same manner as other applicants or employees with similar abilities or limitations. The PDA is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 503 requires any employer with a federal contract of $2,500 or more to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified disabled persons. Section 503 is enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Section 504 prohibits discrimination against qualified disabled persons in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. Section 504 is enforced by the Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Education.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits discrimination in health coverage and in employment based on genetic information. The Departments of Labor, Health, and Human Services and the Treasury have responsibility for issuing regulations for Title I of GINA, which addresses the use of genetic information in health insurance. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces Title II of GINA (dealing with genetic discrimination in employment).

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. No person can be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination in any university program or activity that receives federal funds because of their race, color or national origin. Title VI is enforced by the Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Education.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. All institutions or agencies with 15 or more employees are covered. Most terms and conditions of employment are covered, including:

  • Recruitment, selection, assignment, transfer, layoff, discharge, and recall
  • Opportunities for promotion
  • In-service training or development opportunities
  • Wages and salaries -Sick leave and pay
  • Vacation time and pay
  • Overtime and pay
  • Medical, hospital, life and accident insurance
  • Other staff benefits

Title VII is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. No person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any education program or activity that receives federal funds because of their sex. Title IX is enforced by the Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Education.

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects service members’ reemployment rights when returning from a period of service in the uniformed services, including those called up from the reserves or National Guard, and prohibits employer discrimination based on military service or obligation. The USERRA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.

Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistant Act of 1974 (VEVRA)

The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistant Act of 1974 (VEVRA) requires any employer with a federal contract of $10,000 or more to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment-qualified veterans with disabilities and veterans of the Vietnam Era. The VEVRA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.