Federal Legislation Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:Prohibited employment discrimination basedon race, color, religion, sex, or national origin Equal Protection Clause of FourteenthAmendment: Provides protection againstgroup discrimination and unfair treatment Used as a vehicle for individuals who seekrelief from various forms of discrimination
Equal Protection Provisions of theFourteenth Amendment andEmployment Discrimination Due process of law includes four aspects:procedural, substantive, Vagueness Test, andPresumption Test Applied by courts in addressing forms ofdiscrimination Vagueness Test: protects those who allegediscrimination from capricious acts by employer;laws are considered vague if a person ofcommon intelligence has to guess at theirmeaning
Presumption Test Presumes innocence until proven guilty Embedded in provisions to the U.S.Constitution – e.g. right to remain silentand the right to a jury Supports the belief that legal basis iscritical in restricting an individual fromhis/her constitutional rights
Due Process Standards andEmployment Discrimination Courts operate on a three level balancing testto determine procedural due process:– Test may be applied to determine if person isactually entitled to a hearing before action is taken– Test may be applied to determine if pre or postdeprivation is needed– Test may be applied to determine the standardand level of proof necessary to deprive the person
Equal Protection Clause Pivotal in cases alleging employment discrimination Prohibits state from showing preference to a certainclass of individuals over others Each individual must be treated equally underFourteenth Amendment Initial burden rests with plaintiff to determine that alaw is irrational; then shifts to the employer to showreason for the enforcement of the law; courts thenbalance the plaintiff’s contention against theemployer’s argument of a valid reasoning behindtheir action
Title VII: Discrimination Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII prohibits discrimination inemployment based on race, color, religion, sex, or nationalorigin Law amended in 1972 to apply in educational institutions Amended by Civil Rights Act of 1991: provides forcompensatory damages, punitive damages, and jury trial insituations that involve intentional discrimination Plaintiff must show that employer’s reasons for the challengedemployment decision are false and that the true reason isdiscrimination – can be very difficult to prove
Retaliation Title VII prohibits retaliation against a personwho filed a discrimination charge, whoparticipated in a discrimination hearing, orwho opposed discrimination Retaliation occurs when employer takesadverse action against employee who wasinvolved in discrimination proceeding (e.g.demotions, termination, negative evaluations,refusal to employ).
Sexual Discrimination Courts require gender-neutral decision making whenemployment opportunities are available Discrimination based on sex is covered by Title VII and Title IXof the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which prohibitssexual discrimination by public and private educationalinstitutions receiving federal funding Title IX: “No person in the United States shall on the basis ofsex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of,or be subjected to discrimination under any educational programor activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Title IX is administered by the Office for Civil Rights of theDepartment of Education
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973and the Americans withDisabilities Act of 1990 ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)and IDEA (Individuals with DisabilitiesAct) protect individuals with disabilitiesagainst discrimination and ensuresequal access and equal opportunity.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 504 prohibits discrimination againstany otherwise qualified person who has adisability with respect to employment,training, compensation, promotion, fringebenefits, and terms and conditions ofemployment Extends beyond the school environment andcovers all people who are disabled in anyprogram receiving federal financialassistance.
Qualifications for Employment Employers must make reasonableaccommodations to any know physical ormental impairment of an otherwise qualifiedindividual who has a disability Based on the law, reasonable accomodationsinclude:– Existing facilities used by employees must bereadily accessible to and usable by individualswith disabilities– An employer may be exempt if it can bedemonstrated that an undue hardship is involvedin making a reasonable accomodation
Racial Discrimination Disparate treatment simply means that anemployer treats some people moreunfavorably that others regardingemployment, job promotion, or employmentconditions based on race, color, religion, sex,or national origin. Disparate impact is merely a showing that anumber of people of similar class are affectedadversely by a particular employment practicethat appears neutral.
Religious Discrimination The First Amendment and Title VII provideprotection to employees against religiousdiscrimination. Religion is defined by Title VII to includeall aspects of religious observances,practices, and beliefs. Employees are expected to makereasonable accommodations to anemployee’s religious observance unless ahardship can be demonstrated.
Religious Discrimination Issues relating to religious discriminationinvolve fairness and balance. An employer cannot legally require anemployee to choose between his or herjob and religion. Employees cannot be penalized by aplacement that would require thatemployee to ignore a religious tenet of hisor her faith to preserve a job.
Age Discrimination Age discrimination in public schoolsprimarily affects teachers. In past years,many districts forced teachers to retirewhen they reached a specified age. These policies and practices werechallenged by teachers under equalprotection guarantees and receivedmixed reviews from the courts.
ADEA Age Discrimination in Employment Act of1967, as amended in 1978 resulted in allchallenges and uncertainties beinginsignificant. Amended again in 1986, removed age limit ofretirement completely, except for those inpublic safety positions such as police officers& firefighters. These acts prohibited forced retirement. Theycover teachers and other public employeesover the age of 40.
Pregnancy andPublic School Employment• Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-555)• This law is an amendment to Title VII which protects pregnantemployees against any form of discrimination based onpregnancy.• Districts may not assume that every pregnant teacher isphysically unable to perform her teaching duties andresponsibilities effectively because she is at a specific point inher pregnancy. The courts have been fairly consistent in their rulings regardingissues related to pregnancy. The intent of the act is to ensure that pregnant employees aretreated in the same manner as other employees with respect tothe ability to perform their duties. Under this Act no woman can be dismissed, denied a job, ordenied a promotion due to pregnancy.
Family and Medical Leave Act(FMLA) Passed by congress in 1993; designed to alloweligible employees up to a total of 12 work weeks ofunpaid leave during any twelve month period for thefollowing reasons:– Birth and care of new child (of the employee)– Placement with the employee of a son or daughterfor adoption or foster care.– Caring for an immediate family member with aserious health condition.– Medical leave when the employee is unable towork due to a serious health condition.
Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment is prohibited by TitleVII and Title IX, however in spite ofthese prohibitions, incidents still persist. Cases have remained constant overpast years; increasing between 1992 to1995 and then gradually decreasingafter that. This suggests that training andeducation on awareness are criticalfactors in combating harassment in theworkplace.
Sexual Harassment, cont. Sexual harassment was not included in TitleVII of the Civil Rights of 1964 until 1980. Its primary intent is to protect employees fromharassment in their work environments. Harassment is considered to be a form of sexdiscrimination which can manifest itself inmany forms from verbal statements andgestures to overt behaviors. The victim, as well as the harasser, may be amale or a female, not necessarily of theopposite sex.
Sexual Harassment, cont. More serious levels may involve sexualcoercion or unwanted physicalrelations. This type behavior quid pro quo iscommonly associated with superior-subordinate relationships in which thevictim, for fear of reprisal, will unwillinglyparticipate. This relationship is best described as apower relationship.
Sexual Harassment, cont. Harassment under this act is broadly definedto cover most forms of unacceptablebehavior. Any type of sexual behavior or advance thatis unwanted or unwelcomed is consideredcovered under the act. The person affected by this behavior has anobligation to inform the party that his or herbehavior is unwanted or unwelcomed. If theyfail to do so it’s difficult to claim harassment.
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