The Civil Rights Act of 1964 works to protect people from being discriminated against by an employer based upon their sex, color, race, national origin or religion. Even though Title VII is only applicable to those who have at least 15 employees working for them, legislation provided equal employment opportunities for all involved. Even though this act has been in place for almost 50 years, many employers do not currently abide by its regulations and prohibitions.
Before the Civil Rights Act, employers were allowed to discriminate against any potential employees for whatever reason they chose. In the workforce, job positions were not simply segregated by race but by gender as well. Employers have also excluded women from obtaining a large number of positions. Instead, the highest paying jobs were often awarded to a white male while racial minorities held blue-collar jobs.
After the Civil Rights Act was put into place, it helped prevent discrimination in the workplace. Many discriminatory standards for employment were eliminated. As an example, prerequisites for those who wanted to work as a police officer previously excluded almost every female from the job. In order to adhere to the Civil Rights Act, the law enforcement departments eliminated their previous requirements for height. Within other areas of the workforce, similar accommodations were made.
Exceptions to the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII gives employers the opportunity to discriminate against potential employees based upon color, sex, national origin or race as long as there are certain situations that constitute a bonafide occupational requirement. In order to bypass these circumstances surrounding this requirement, the employee will be required to possess the necessary skills to complete the job satisfactorily. As an example, if a movie director is looking to cast someone into the role of a Cuban general, he or she is allowed to discriminate others based upon their national origin. Even though these situations are rare, the requirements that surround the legal aspects of it are extremely strict.
Filing a Formal Complaint
If you are the victim of discrimination in the workplace, there are numerous options that exist for you to take action. Under Title VII, there is the option to file your complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Illinois. Another option for filing a complaint is that of the Fair Employment Practices Agency. In order to get the complaint properly registered, it needs to be filed within 180 days after the incident occurs for it to remain valid. The aforementioned agencies may bring a lawsuit against the employer on your behalf if you do not plan to hire your own attorney.
You also have the option to file your own lawsuit against the employer at fault. If you are searching for someone to represent you in regards to the violation of your civil rights, seek an attorney who is well-versed in civil rights and employment law matters.