Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects job applicants and employees from discrimination by an employer or potential employer based on the employee or applicant's color, race, sex, religion, and national origin. That means that employers can’t discriminate when it comes to hiring and that they can’t discriminate against, harass, or bully employees.
Overview of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII is one of the landmark pieces of employment legislation in the United States. It protects employees from harassment and discrimination based on color, race, sex, religion, or national origin. That means that employers can’t engage in discriminatory acts like:
- Sexual harassment
- Harassment or bullying based on race, religion, sex, color, or where someone is from.
- Discriminatory hiring practices.
- Firing pregnant employees.
- Not making accommodations for pregnant employees.
- Unlawful firings.
- Refusing to allow someone time to pray during a shift.
- Refusing to promote someone based on their sex, gender, race, or other protected reason.
- Bullying in the workplace.
Both people who are applying for jobs and employees are covered under Title VII so that employers cannot discriminate in the hiring process or discriminate against employees once they are hired. However, only employers who have more than 15 employees are required to abide by Title VII regulations.
Accommodations for Employees
To make employees feel comfortable in the workplace employers should have a cohesive and uniform policy about diversity and inclusion. That policy should be clearly stated in the employee handbook and all training materials. Employers should also have a cohesive and comprehensive policy about sexual harassment in the workplace that outlines what steps employees should take if they experience sexual harassment at work.
Employers should also encourage employees to meet with HR or with employers directly to discuss any concerns that they have about the protections of Title VII.
Enforcement and Compliance
Employers should have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to Title VII violations because the penalties for violating Title VII can be up to $10,000 per violation. Ongoing training that clarifies things like what is bullying or harassment in the workplace should be held so that employees are clear on what actions are not allowed. It’s also a good idea for employers to regularly update their standard policy statements about sexual harassment, workplace bullying, and the accommodations that should be made for employees so that the policies keep pace with current cultural standards.
Talk to an Employment Law Attorney
If you feel that your employer is violating your right to work without being bullied or harassed or if you have been denied a promotion or wrongfully terminated and you feel that your rights under Title VII have been violated, you should speak with an employment attorney in your state. Fill out a Free Case Evaluation Form now to get connected with an independent employment attorney who can give you advice based on your unique situation today.