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EEO Federal Laws Overview

The following laws provide the basic foundation for prohibiting discrimination in the workplace:

Equal Pay Act of 1963
requires employers to pay equal wages for equal work, regardless of sex.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
probably the most important anti-discrimination law of all times. It bans discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Also, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was created as a result of this Act to address complaints/violations of this law.

Executive Order 11246
Bans discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin by federal contractors/subcontractors with at least $10,000 in contracts.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
Prohibits discrimination against employees age 40 or older. This law was amended in 1975 and in 1986. The 1986 amendment abolished mandatory retirement of employees at any age and expanded coverage of the law to include entire institutions, government entities and private employers that receive federal funds.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs or activities that receive federal funds.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sections 503 and 504)
Employers who have federal contracts worth more than $25,000 or receive financial assistance is prohibited from discriminating against handicapped individuals and must take affirmative action to employ them.

Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974
Employers must grant unpaid leave to employees who have military obligations, whether active or reserve duty. Also, employers must rehire returning veterans into their former jobs with like seniority, status, and pay. Federal contractors must take affirmative action to hire and promote veterans, and protected veterans.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act
Prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of pregnancy-related medical conditions and mandates that pregnancy be treated the same as other temporary disabilities.

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
Bars employers from hiring individuals not authorized to work in the US and prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of their nationality or citizenship status.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for them.

Civil Rights Act of 1991
Amended Title VII and overturned several Supreme Court decisions. It strengthened EEO requirements and expanded remedies and damages that can be awarded when discrimination is found.

Family Medical Leave Act 1993
FLMA requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid job protected leave to "eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons.