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Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is the statute that established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It applies to employers with 15 or more employees. In short, the Act prohibits discrimination against employees or applicants. This includes discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Discrimination can mean refusal to hire, limiting compensation, segregation, or other unfair or unequal treatment on the basis of a protected characteristic.
Certain exemptions are provided for bona fide occupational qualifications, for seniority or merit systems, and for preferential treatment given to Indians on or near a reservation.
A “bona fide occupational qualification” is, generally, one required by business necessity. For example, a movie company looking to hire someone to portray a woman does not need to consider men for the role. The following do not meet the exception:
- Refusal to hire based on assumptions of employment characteristics; i.e., the assumption that the turnover rate is higher among women.
- Refusal to hire based on stereotypes; i.e., the assumption that men are less capable of assembling intricate equipment.
The Act does not require preferential treatment based on the number or percentage of people in any community, state, or other area. This is an anti-discrimination act, not an affirmative action act.
The enforcement of the Act is entrusted to the EEOC. Procedures for the agency and common issues are discussed under specific topics, including Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Discrimination, and Retaliation.
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['Title VII (The Civil Rights Act of 1964)']
J. J. Keller is the trusted source for DOT / Transportation, OSHA / Workplace Safety, Human Resources, Construction Safety and Hazmat / Hazardous Materials regulation compliance products and services. J. J. Keller helps you increase safety awareness, reduce risk, follow best practices, improve safety training, and stay current with changing regulations.