A series of protests by African-Americans marked the onset of the journey to the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. President John Kennedy called for equal treatment of all Americans in all public places, elimination of segregated school systems and the protection of the right to vote.
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The president sent a bill to the House of Representatives where further amendments strengthened the bill to include provisions on the protection against racial discrimination in the workplace and incorporation of all the rights described in the U.S constitution. The adoption of provisions on the protection of women rights and the prohibition of sex discrimination was a last-minute adjustment on Title VII proposed by Howard Smith.
The Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson case was fundamental in the establishment of standards regarding the determination of unlawful conduct in particular forms of sexual harassment and the liability of the employer. The decision by the U.S Supreme Court helped to expand the interpretation of the provisions of Title VII to incorporate aspects of economic and noneconomic injury due to sexual hostility in the working environment (Bennett & Hartman, 2011).
The court ruling regarding the Chrapliwy v. Uniroyal, Inc. case redefined the scope of sex discrimination to incorporate the assignment of tasks based on the perception of the capabilities among different sexes. The court found Uniroyal Inc. guilty of placing women in the footwear production division while men dominated other lines of production.
The amendments to Title VII provisions on sex discrimination in 1978 allowed the adoption of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The Supreme Court ruling in the Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur case promoted the protection of pregnant women against mandatory unpaid leave. The court ruling in 2009 in AT&T Corp v. Hulteen case helped to define a framework for the calculation of benefits relating to maternity leave (Wright, 2005).
The ruling in General Dynamics Land Sys Inc. v. Cline case redefined the responsibility of the employer in favoring employees above 40 years over young employees. The ruling in Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Lab case helped to reiterate the responsibility of the employer in proving the reasonable factors that led to a decision that hurt old employees. The ruling in Gomez-Perez v. Potter case strengthened the power of federal workers in demanding compensation relating to matters of age discrimination.
The adoption of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 was an extension of the protection of Americans against discriminatory practices highlighted in the Civil Rights Act. The amendments to the bill in 2009 defined additional provisions describing the protection of people with disabilities in the workplace, public entities, telecommunication services, and other miscellaneous actions.
Title VII and its amendments define the framework of recruitment, employment, assignment of duties, and compensation of employees of different sexes and abilities. EEOC supports employees in demanding address on discriminatory practices in the workplaces by interpreting Title VII, PDA, EDEA, and ADA in the context of employers’ actions. An analysis of the outcomes of complaints filed against various employers highlight the influence of Title VII in the workplace.
In 1998, EEOC helped the employees of Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing to obtain a settlement of about 34 million dollars for sexual harassment. In 1999, EEOC helped to settle a case in which Woodbine Healthcare Center discriminated Filipino nurses by placing them in assistant positions and paying the nurses insufficient salary while threatening them with deportation. In 2012, WAL-Mart Store Inc. had to pay 50,000 dollars as a settlement for discrimination against an employee with cerebral palsy.
Bennett, D., & Hartman, L. (2011). Employment Law for Business. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Wright, S. (2005). The Civil Rights Act of 1964: Landmark Antidiscrimination Legislation. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group.