1:1 Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion or national origin. The law applies to federal, state and local employers. While not covered under Title VII, employers with less than 15 employees may be covered by state or local anti-discrimination statutes.

Employers may not use the above conditions as a basis for refusing to hire an otherwise qualified applicant, for terminating employment of an individual, or to otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his/her compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

It is also illegal to limit, segregate or classify employees or applicants in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive them of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect their status as employees. Certain exceptions are, however, permitted:

  1. There may be a bona fide seniority or merit system in place, or earnings may be measured by quantity or quality of production.
  2. The employer may make decisions based on the results of a professionally developed ability test not designed, intended or used to discriminate. 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hear complaints from individuals who believe they have been the victims of discrimination. The complaint must be filed with the EEOC within 180 days after the alleged occurrence (unless there is a state or local antidiscrimination law with its own procedures). The EEOC will give state or local fair employment agencies 60 days to resolve a complaint before investigating. Employers can be required by the EEOC to produce records or documentation pertaining to the charges.

If the EEOC finds that discrimination has occurred, it will attempt to reconcile the parties and, if unsuccessful, may file a federal suit against the employer.

The above information is a summary only and is in no way intended to be legal advice. Furthermore, this should be read in concert with University policies and procedures. Requests for further information should be directed to your Human Resources Region Manager.