Equal Employment Opportunities
The law restricts employers and unions from discriminating against workers on the basis of race, color, re-
ligion, national origin, gender, age, or handicap. A class of persons defined by one or more of these criteria is known
. This chapter outlines these laws.
TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964
Prohibits employment discrimination against employees, applicants, and union members on the basis of
race, color, national origin, religion, and gender.
Employers with fifteen or more employees, labor unions with fifteen or more members, labor unions
that operate hiring halls, employment agencies, and federal, state, and local agencies.
(1) A victim files a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); (2) the EEOC
investigates and seeks a voluntary settlement; (3) if no settlement is reached, the EEOC may sue the
employer; (4) if the EEOC chooses not to sue, the victim may file a lawsuit.
Title VII prohibits both intentional and unintentional discrimination.
Intentional discrimination by one employer against another is disparate-treatment discrimination.
Case—Plaintiff’s Side of the Case
A plaintiff must show (1) he or she is a member of a protected class, (2) he or she applied and
was qualified for the job, (3) he or she was rejected by the employer, (4) the employer continued
to seek applicants or filled the job with a person not in a protected class.
Defense—Employer’s Side of the Case
An employer must articulate a legal reason for not hiring the plaintiff. To prevail, a plaintiff
must show that this reason is a pretext and discriminatory intent motivated the decision.
Unintentional discrimination is known as disparate-impact discrimination.
Types of Unintentional Discrimination
Disparate-impact discrimination results if, because of a requirement or hiring practice—
an employer’s work force does not reflect the percentage of members of protected classes
that characterizes qualified individuals in the local labor market, or