The Civil Rights movement of the 1960s forced Americans to take a hard look at how certain populations were being treated in the nation's plight to secure equality for all. As a result, many pieces of federal legislation were passed in an effort to address previous wrongs and to level the playing field for, among others, women, those over 40, and individuals of color. In Illinois and throughout the nation, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provided a springboard for many claims of discrimination that were arising from places of employment.
Race was included as one of the protected classes of populations who could seek help through the tenants of Title VII. Under the law, employers were and still are prohibited from using race as a basis for hiring, firing, or disciplining employees. They may not separate employees based on their race and may not offer employees of particular races less in the form of compensation or benefits because of their status in a protected class.
With the law's passage more than fifty years ago, readers of this legal blog may have the hopeful belief that racial discrimination in the workplace as been eradicated by enforcement and deterrence through state and federal legislation. In reality, however, it is still a very real problem for many men and women who need their jobs to take care of themselves and their loved ones.
Racial discrimination is a devastating issue for too many American workers. When it presents itself, men and women should be aware that they have rights to confront it and stop it. Employment law attorneys can help them build and pursue their cases for justice.