Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e et seq.), the most comprehensive Civil Rights legislation in U.S. history, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, nationality, or color. Title VII was designed to provide for parity in the use and enjoyment of public accommodations, facilities, and education as well as in federally assisted programs and employment. It further allows an injured party to bring suit and obtain damages from any individual who illegally infringes upon the party's civil rights.

Other important federal laws have been aimed at remedying discrimination against other groups, including older U.S. citizens and individuals with disabilities. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) (29 U.S.C.A. § 621 et seq.) prohibits employers with 20 or more employees from discriminating because of age against employees over age 40.

Although discrimination on the basis of gender is included in title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a number of other federal laws also prohibit Sex Discrimination. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (29 U.S.C.A. § 206 [d]) amended the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C.A. §§ 201–219). It prohibits discrimination through different forms of compensation for jobs with equal skill, effort, and responsibility. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e[k]) prohibits discrimination against employees on the basis of pregnancy and childbirth, in employment and benefits. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C.A. §§ 1681–1686) prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funds, including exclusions from noncontact team sports on the basis of sex. In addition, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (15 U.S.C.A. § 1691 et seq.) prohibits discrimination in the extension of credit, on the basis of sex or marital status