1. Employment Discrimination

Employment Discrimination

Playlist: 27 Videos: 79 Minutes



Topics: Learning Material

Introduction to Employment Discrimination
Employment discrimination is a specific area of employment law. Numerous federal or state statutes provide for “protected classes” of individuals based upon innate characteristics. Employment discrimination law protects employees who fit into these classes from discrimination by their employer based upon these characteristics. This chapter defines the purpose of employment discrimination law and the role of the federal and state governments in its enforcement. It then identifies the major federal employment discrimination laws and the agencies charged with their administration. All of these laws establish rights for covered employees and place affirmative obligations upon covered employers. For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Employment Discrimination (Intro)

What is “Employment Discrimination”?
  • Protects covered employees from discrimination based on protected class

⁃ Government and private actions

  • Limits discriminatory conduct by covered employers

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is "Employment Discrimination"?

Major Employment Discrimination Laws
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
  • Civil Rights Act of 1866 (1981 Act)
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • The Rehabilitation Act
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Redeployment Act (USERRA)

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What are the major Employment Discrimination laws?

Overview of Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964
  • the most comprehensive statute dedicated to protecting the civil rights of individuals.
  • dedicated to eliminating discriminatory employment practices.
  • amended numerous times since 1964

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Overview of Title VII (Civil Rights Act of 1964)

Discrimination Under Title VII

Enforcing Title VII Protections
  • Filing a Charge
  • Review by Investigator
  • Negotiation & Mediation
  • Investigation
  • Determination

Dismissal and Notice of Rights

Letter of Determination

Notice of Right to Sue

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see How are Title VII protections enforced?

Disparate Treatment – Title VII
  • direct discriminatory treatment of an employee by the employer
  • employer intentionally discriminate, or
  • discrimination is a “substantial or motivating factor”

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Disparate Treatment

Disparate Impact – Title VII
  • involves a policy or practice that has a discriminatory impact on a protected class of individual.
  • is not primarily motivated by a discriminatory purpose
  • effect on the employee must be “substantial” and related to an identifiable disadvantage or a loss of opportunity.
  • To defend, employer must show that there was a bona fide occupational qualification

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Disparate Impact

Retaliation – Title VII
  • protects employees who report or bear witness to discriminatory conduct.
  • making discrimination charges, making a statement to the EEOC or administrative agency, or giving testimony in a discrimination case.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Retaliation Under Title VII

Race Discrimination – Title VII
  • Disparate Treatment

Discriminatory Language

Race-Based Scheduling

Accommodations

Incentives

Private Affirmative Action Programs

  • Disparate Impact

Personnel Tests

Marital Status

Credit Scores

Nepotism

Grooming Requirements

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is race discrimination under Title VII?

National Origin Discrimination – Title VII
  • Origin or birthplace of the employee or the employee’s ancestors.
  • Language discrimination

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is national origin discrimination under Title VII?

Religious Discrimination – Title VII
  • Based upon their religious beliefs or affiliations.
  • “reasonable accommodations”
  • “undue hardship” - A material disruption in job performance or business operations.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is religious discrimination Under Title VII?

Sex Discrimination – Title VII
  • Discriminatory Treatment

Job Classifications - Employers cannot advertise or classify a job listing for only male or females.

Seniority Lists - Employers cannot keep separate male and female seniority or promotion lists.

Parenthood - Employers cannot discriminate based upon an employee’s pregnancy or intention to have children. (This prohibition is discussed in greater detail below.)

  • Discriminatory Impact

Height and Weight Requirements

Appearance Requirements

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is sex discrimination under Title VII?

Sexual Harassment and Hostile Work Environment
  • Sexual harassment

⁃ “quid pro quo”

  • Hostile Work Environment

⁃ Employer aware, fails to take action

  • Equal Pay Act of 1963

⁃ "equal skill, effort, and responsibility . . . performed under similar working conditions…”.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is "sexual harassment" or "hostile work environment" under Title VII?

Equal Pay Act of 1963
  • prohibit sex-based discrimination in employment compensation.
  • requires equal pay if workers perform equal work in jobs requiring "equal skill, effort, and responsibility . . . performed under similar working conditions…”.
  • did not address other forms of discrimination based upon sex.
  • relies heavily upon statistical analysis of disparities in pay, benefits, and promotion across the organization.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is the "Equal Pay Act of 1963"?

Pregnancy Discrimination Act
  • discrimination based upon pregnancy or intent to become pregnant.
  • Employer health or disability plans must include coverage for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions in the same manner as other health conditions.
  • Employers cannot force employees to take maternity leave from work.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is pregnancy discrimination under Title VII?

Race Discrimination under the 1981 Act
  • commonly known as the 1981 Act
  • “All persons shall have the same right to make and enforce contracts as enjoyed by white citizens.”
  • Race protection - less procedure and limits than Title VII

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is Race discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (1981 Actions)?

Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • Employers with 20+ employees
  • Employee 40+ years old.
  • Must be some form of discriminatory intent behind discriminatory impact cases.
  • Any form of non-discriminatory basis may justify.
  • Employer does not have to show a business necessity.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act?

Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Prohibits employer discrimination against job applicants or employees based on:

⁃ their having a disability,

⁃ their having a disability in the past, or

⁃ their being regarded as having a disability.

  • Employers with 15+ employees
  • Covered Disability
  • Reasonable Accommodation
  • Undue Hardship
  • Remedies

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

The Rehabilitation Act
  • Similar to ADA applicable to Federal Government
  • does not distinguish between qualified and non-qualified disabilities,
  • requires the application of affirmative action programs to disabled individuals.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is discrimination under "The Rehabilitation Act"?

Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act
  • No discrimination based upon genetic history
  • includes any information acquired through an individual’s genetic test or the test of her family members.
  • Cannot seek to identify or solicit information about an individual’s genetic information.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is discrimination under the "Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act"?

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
  • prohibits group health plans and health insurance providers from discriminating against employees based upon certain factors.
  • grants an employee who leaves one job the ability to continue her same level of health coverage under a subsequent health
  • Cannot be excluded for pre-existing conditions, unless break in coverage.
  • If an individual has a break in coverage, can exclude pre-existing conditions present during the previous 12 months.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act?

The Affordable Care Act
  • all US citizens purchase health insurance either privately or through their employers.
  • Individuals who fail to purchase health insurance are fined or incur a tax penalty calculated as a percentage of their annual income.
  • establishes federal exchanges through which individuals may purchase coverage.
  • insurance companies cannot exclude applicants based upon pre-existing conditions.
  • A business with 50 or more full-time employees must allow employees to purchase health insurance for themselves and their dependents through the employer-sponsored plan.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see The Affordable Care Act?

Military Discrimination Protections
  • protects the rights of service members in the military reserves or state national guards from discrimination based upon their military service obligations.
  • voluntarily or involuntarily leave their employment to undertake military service or certain types of service in National Defense Medical System.
  • includes protections for those reporting (or testifying against) an employer for violating USERRA.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What anti-discrimination protections exist for military service members?

Sexual Orientation Discrimination
  • No statutes at federal level
  • Some state statutes
  • EEOC opinions imposing federal protections
  • Limited common law protections

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What protections exist for sexual orientation and identification?

Affirmative Action
  • Executive order
  • Protects federal employees and employees of federal contractors with 50+ employees and holding federal contracts of $50,000 or more.
  • Provides for representative demographics

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is "affirmative action"?

State Employment Discrimination Laws
  • EEOC works in conjunction with state administrative agencies in enforcing federal employment discrimination laws.
  • If a state administrative agency begins a proceedings or a state law provides relief to a discrimination charge, the EEOC must notify the state officials and wait 60 days before continuing an action.
  • extends the time for filing with the EEOC to 300 days.

For further written and video explanation, discussion and practice questions, see What is employment discrimination protection under state law?


Flashcard: Study Practice

Q1
Employment discrimination is based upon fundamental rights granted or protections afforded under the US Constitution. True or False

Q2
Employment discrimination laws prohibit certain types of discrimination by employers against employees or prospective employees based upon their ________________

A2

Q3
Federal and state laws prohibit employer discrimination based upon _____________.

A3
race, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, age, physical disability, genetic information, and military status.

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/what-is-employment-discrimination/

Q4
Discrimination generally includes demonstrating biases in actions or decision making in the context of:

A4
Hiring or firing, Compensation or benefits, promotions, job details or scheduling, Retaliation for reporting discrimination, etc.

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/what-is-employment-discrimination/

Q5
The primary federal acts addressing employment discrimination are as follows:

A5
Title VII, 1981 Act, ADEA, ADA, GINA, USERRA

Resource Videos: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/major-employment-discrimination-law/

Q6
___________________ is wholly dedicated to eliminating discriminatory employment practices.

A6
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII)

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/overview-of-title-vii/

Q7

Q8
The provisions of Title VII apply to employers with ___________ more employees, labor unions, and certain other employers.

Q9
When it is reasonably necessary for normal business operations, a good faith reason for discriminating against an employee based upon a protected class is known as a ______________________.

Q10
The ______________________ is charged with interpreting and enforcing the provisions of Title VII and numerous other employment laws (including the ADA, ADEA, Equal Payment Act, and sections of the Rehabilitation Act).

A10
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/enforcing-title-vii-actions-through-eeoc/

Q11
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) employment discrimination enforcement procedures include:

A11
Investigation, Negotiation, & Mediation

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/enforcing-title-vii-actions-through-eeoc/

Q12
When the EEOC investigates an employment discrimination complaint, if it does not find reasonable cause to believe that there was discrimination, it will issue a ______________________.

A12
Dismissal and Notice of Rights letter

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/enforcing-title-vii-actions-through-eeoc/

Q13
When the EEOC investigates an employment discrimination complaint, if it does find reasonable cause to believe that there was discrimination, it will issue a ______________________.

Q14
If the EEOC finds reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred, it will offer to mediate the disputes (known as a conciliation). If the conciliation is ineffective, the EEOC will issue a ____________________.

Q15
The EEOC or the employee has authority to bring an action against the employer for discriminatory conduct. True or False

Q16
__________________ involves direct discriminatory treatment of an employee by the employer (or the employer’s representative).

A16
Disparate Treatment

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/disparate-treatment/

Q17
In a disparate treatment claim, the plaintiff may demonstrate the employer’s intent to discriminate by showing that discrimination is a ______________________ for the employer’s action or decision.

A17
substantial or motivating factor

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/disparate-treatment/

Q18
__________________ is a form of discrimination that involves a policy or practice that is not primarily motivated by a discriminatory purpose but has a discriminatory effect on a protected class of individual.

A18

Q19
In a _____________________ action, the plaintiff must prove that the employer’s practices or policies had a discriminatory effect on her due to her race, gender, religion, etc.

A19

Q20
Title VII protects employees who report or bear witness to discriminatory conduct, such that, employers cannot retaliate by taking disciplinary action against employees for ________.

A20
making discrimination charges, making a statement to the EEOC or administrative agency, or giving testimony in a discrimination case.

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/retaliation-under-title-vii/

Q21
In the context of race-based discrimination, using discriminatory language, scheduling work based upon race, providing different incentives based upon race, and incorrectly managed private affirmative action programs, are all examples of ______________________.

Q22
In the context of race-based discrimination, improper personnel tests, making employment decisions based upon marital status, credit score, nepotism, or grooming requirements are all examples of potential ______________________.

Q23
A policy mandating communication in a given language or prohibitions of cultural practices without a good faith business necessity would be a potential example of _________________.

Q24
Employers must generally make __________________ for the religious needs or practices of their employees.

Q25
The limitation on accommodating religious beliefs or practices is when it results in __________________ on the employer.

Q26
An example of intentional sex-based discrimination under Title VII might include:

A26
advertise or classify a job listing for only males or females; keep separate male and female seniority or promotion lists; Not hiring an person because of an intention to have children.

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/sex-discrimination-under-title-vii-2/

Q27
An example of a policy that may have a disparate impact based upon sex might include:

A27
Job height and weight requirements; Job grooming or appearance requirements

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/sex-discrimination-under-title-vii-2/

Q28
Intentional sex-based discriminatory conduct based upon the actions or inactions of the employer (or its agents) includes:

A28
sexual harassment; hostile work environment

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/sex-discrimination-under-title-vii/

Q29
_________________ involves conduct by an employer (or its agents) that directs unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical harassment that is sexual in nature toward an employee.

Q30
_________________ is a form of sex-based discrimination resulting from sexually explicit or harassing communications or actions by employees that is offensive to other employees.

Q31
To be actionable under Title VII, conduct that is the subject of a claim of ____________________ must be “so severe or pervasive as to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment”.

Q32
In an action for conduct creating a hostile work environment, the employer must be aware (or should be aware of the conduct) and will only be liable if she ________.

A32
commits, promotes, or fails to take actions to prevent such behavior.

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/sex-discrimination-under-title-vii/

Q33
The _______________ works in conjunction with the Civil Rights Act to prohibit sex-based discrimination in employment compensation.

Q34
The ____________________ requires equal pay if workers perform equal work in jobs requiring "equal skill, effort, and responsibility . . . performed under similar working conditions…”.

Q35
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 amended title VII to provide which of the following specific protections.

A35
discriminating against women employees who become pregnant or give birth; Sponsoring or offering health or disability plans must include coverage for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions; Forcing employees to take maternity leave from work.

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/pregnancy-discrimination-under-title-vii/

Q36
_______________________ was passed at the end of the Civil War in an effort to protect minorities against race-based discrimination.

A36
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 (1981 Act)

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/civil-rights-act-of-1866-1981-action/

Q37
The ____________________ was passed to address discrimination in employment based upon Age.

A37
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/age-discrimination-in-employment-act/

Q38
The _________________ prohibits employers with 20 or more employees from discriminating against employees who are 40 years of age and older.

A38
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/age-discrimination-in-employment-act/

Q39
An employer may defend an Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) claim by demonstrating that the discriminatory action or policy was motivated by __________.

A39
a reasonable factor other than age. The employer does not have to show a business necessity, and it does not matter if there is a less discriminatory policy or manner of achieving the employer’s objective.

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/age-discrimination-in-employment-act/

Q40
_______________________ is the primary law protecting individuals with disabilities from various forms of discrimination.

A40
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/americans-with-disabilities-act/

Q41
The The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants or employees based upon:

A41
having a disability; having a disability in the past; being regarded as having a disability.

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/americans-with-disabilities-act/

Q42
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects against discrimination for disabilities that are transitory and minor? True or False

A42
False - They must be serious and interrupt the ability to undertake work.

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/americans-with-disabilities-act/

Q43
Which of the following would generally be considered a reasonable accommodation under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

A43
making the workplace disabled accessible; restructuring or adjusting the work schedule; purchasing or modifying necessary equipment for use by the disabled

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/americans-with-disabilities-act/

Q44
Employers are not required to make an accommodation that causes the employer an ________________.

Q45
_________________ prohibits the Federal Government and certain federal contractors from discriminating against employees and contractors based upon a medical disability.

A45
The Rehabilitation Act

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/the-rehabilitation-act/

Q46
___________________________ prohibits employers (those covered by Title VII) from discriminating (hiring, firing, refusing to hire, or otherwise discriminating) based upon an employee or perspective employee’s genetic information.

A46
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/genetic-information-nondiscrimination-act/

Q47
_____________________________ prohibits group health plans and health insurance providers from discriminating against employees based upon certain factors.

A47
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/health-insurance-portability-and-accountability-act/

Q48
_____________________________ grants an employee who leaves one job the ability to continue her same level of health coverage under a subsequent health plan without being excluded for pre-existing conditions.

A48
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/health-insurance-portability-and-accountability-act/

Q49
____________________ requires that all US citizens purchase health insurance either privately or through their employers.

A49
The Affordable Care Act in 2014 (ACA)

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/the-affordable-care-act/

Q50
Pursuant to the ___________________, insurance companies cannot exclude applicants based upon pre-existing conditions.

A50
The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/the-affordable-care-act/

Q51
____________________ places requirements on businesses to sponsor health insurance plans for employees.

A51
The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/the-affordable-care-act/

Q52
__________________ protects the rights of service members in the military reserves or state national guards from discrimination based upon their military service obligations.

A52
The Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

Resource Video: https://thebusinessprofessor.com/uniform-servicemembers-employment-and-reemployment-act/

Q53
Federal statutes place specifically affording protections to individuals based upon sexual orientation or identity. True or False

Q54
There is limited protection for federal employees from discrimination based upon their status as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. True or False

Q55
__________________ is a federal executive order prescribed to protect federal employees and employees of certain federal contractors. With 50 or more employees and hold ing federal contracts of $50,000 or more.

Q56
__________________ principles require covered employers to take actions to ensure that applicants are treated fairly in the application process and that employees are treated fairly during employment.

Q57
All states have statutes and regulations administered by state agencies to protect employees from employment discrimination. True or False

Q58
The EEOC generally works in conjunction with state administrative agencies in enforcing federal employment discrimination laws. True or False


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