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Equal Opportunity Laws and Regulations

 

Employers

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII) of 1964 – Title VII, as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex in all areas of the employer-employee relationship, from advertisement for new employees through termination or retirement. The law also requires covered entities to reasonably accommodate an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs or practices unless doing so would create undue hardship. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 included additional provisions to Title VII reversing or reinforcing certain U.S. Supreme Court decisions, damages for intentional discrimination, and removal of exemptions for previously exempted employees of elected officials.

Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 – In addition to sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII, the Equal Pay Act, as amended, prohibits sex discrimination in payment of wages to women and men performing substantially equal work in the same establishment.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 – ADEA, as amended, protects applicants and employees 40 years of age or older from discrimination on the basis of age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 – PDA amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. The Act covers discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990/Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 – Title I  of the ADA, as amended, protects qualified applicants and employees with disabilities from discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, job training, fringe benefits, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment on the basis of disability. The term “qualified,” with respect to an employment position, means having the ability to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation for an individual with a disability. It also requires that covered entities to provide reasonable accommodations unless doing so would create undue hardship. The law also requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer (undue hardship).

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994 – USERRA covers individuals who serve in or have served in the uniformed services and applies to all employers in the public and private sectors, including Federal employers. The law seeks to ensure that those who serve their country can retain their civilian employment and benefits, and can seek employment free from discrimination because of their service. USERRA also provides protection for disabled veterans and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations unless doing so would create undue hardship.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008 – GINA prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information in employment and health insurance.

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Lilly Ledbetter) of 2009 – Lilly Ledbetter amends Title VII, ADEA, ADA, and the Rehabilitation Act to clarify the time frame in which victims of discrimination may challenge and recover for discriminatory compensation decisions or other discriminatory practices affecting compensation.

Texas Labor Code, Chapter 21 – Chapter 21 provides for the execution of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as well as their subsequent amendments for persons of this state.

Texas Labor Code, Chapter 657 – Chapter 657 provides for veteran’s preference in employment over other applicants for the same position who do not have a greater qualification. The following individuals qualify for a veteran’s employment preference: (1) a veteran, including a veteran with a disability; (2) a veteran’s spouse who has not remarried; and (3) an orphan of a veteran if the veteran was killed while on active duty.

Federal Contractors/Subcontractors

Executive Order 11246 – Executive Order 11246, as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin in employment, and requires affirmative action to ensure equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – Section 503, as amended, prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in employment, and requires affirmative action to employ and advance qualified individuals with disabilities.

Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act (VEVRAA) of 1974 – VEVRAA prohibits discrimination against protected veterans in employment, and requires affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain protected veterans. The term “protected veteran” includes: (1) Disabled Veterans; (2) Active Duty, Wartime, or Campaign Badge Veterans; (3) Armed Forces Service Medal Veterans; and (4) Recently Separated Veterans.

Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision – This provision provides applicants and employees with notice that employers covered by Executive Order 11246, as amended, will not discriminate against them for inquiring about, discussing or disclosing their pay or, in certain circumstances, the pay of their co-workers.

Programs/Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance and Public Entities

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (Title VI) of 1964 – Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Title IX of the Education Amendments (Title IX) of 1972 – Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities which receive Federal financial assistance.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – Section 504, as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. It also requires that covered entities provide students with appropriate academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services that are necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in a school’s program, unless doing so would fundamentally alter the program or impose an undue burden.

Age Discrimination Act of 1975 – The Age Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990/Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 – Title II of the ADA, as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by state and local governments (public entities). It also requires that covered entities make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures that deny equal access to individuals with disabilities, unless making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.