If you’ve been a victim of discrimination in your workplace, your employer may have violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII is a federal statute that prohibits employers who are covered by the statute from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Prohibited Employer Discrimination
Specifically, Title VII bars covered employers from engaging in the following discriminatory employment practices because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or national origin:
- Refusing to hire or discharge any person (or otherwise discriminate against him with respect to his compensation, terms and conditions of employment, or privileges of employment);
- Restricting, segregating, or classifying employees or applicants in a way that would adversely affect their status as employees;
- Discriminating against any individual in the admission to, or employment in, any apprenticeship or training program;
- Retaliating against any individual who opposed a discriminatory employment practice;
- Retaliating against any individual who made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing on the employer’s discriminatory practices; or
- Printing or publishing any advertisement or notice about employment that indicates a specification, preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. However, an exception to this rule applies if religion, sex, or national origin (but not race) is a “bona fide occupational qualification” for employment.
Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications Excepted
Title VII also prohibits employer discrimination against someone because of his or her association of another person of a particular race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or national origin. There is an exception: covered employers are allowed to discriminate based on religion, sex, or national origin (but not color or race) where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) that is “reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise.” This is known as the “BFOQ defense”.
Seek Legal Assistance
If you have been a victim of any of the above proscribed conduct, you may have a employment discrimination claim under Title VII. There are numerous deadlines on employment discrimination claims that tend to run pretty quickly. Therefore, it is important to understand both your rights and the deadlines associated with enforcing those rights. The EEOC website is a very good place to familiarize yourself with the rules, laws and deadlines.
Collins & Collins, P.C. can be reached at (505) 242-5958.