There are numerous federal and state laws and executive orders which prohibit discrimination of various types in the workplace. A brief synopsis of the more important laws which provide the legal basis for the goals of both equal employment opportunity and affirmative action follows:
Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended. This act prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex in all programs and activities receiving federal funds.
Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability in employment, public service, public accommodations, telecommunications, and transportation.
Executive Order 11246, as amended. This executive order issued by President Johnson prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors (like BHSU) from discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.
Equal Pay Act of 1963. This act prohibits discrimination in salaries (including almost all fringe benefits) on the basis of sex.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and Age Discrimination Act of 1975. The 1967 Act forbids employers from considering age as a factor in employment decisions of persons who are at least 40 years old. The 1975 Act is distinct from the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which deals only with employment of people over 40. The Act prohibits age-based discrimination in any program or activity receiving federal funds. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 changes when the statute of limitations begins for workers' pay discrimination claims under Title VII and the ADEA.
Vietnam-Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. This act prohibits discrimination in employment practices on the basis of being either a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 503, as amended. This act sets affirmative action obligations of federal contractors and subcontractors with respect to employees and for the advancement in employment of handicapped individuals.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504. Section 504 prohibits employment discrimination against any qualified applicants or employees on the basis of handicap in any institution receiving federal funds.
It is important to remember that statutes, executive orders, and regulations do not automatically ensure equity and equality in employment. That goal can only be reached through the support of the principles and goals of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action by the entire campus community.
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2009. Title II prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from engaging in employment discrimination against individuals because of their genetic information. Employers should not be asking at the post-offer stage of employment about whether relatives have mental disorders, cardiopulmonary disorder or other conditions that might have genetic components to them. GINA impacts virtually all Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requests that involve a serious health condition of a family member, employer fitness-for-duty exams and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requests for accommodation. In each of these circumstances, discussions should not delve into family medical history or other genetic information.