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Title Vii Paper

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Title VII

Discrimination in the workplace has been a problem, most likely, since man started forming tribes and working together. Discrimination will never be extinguished from men and women but laws and regulations can hold them accountable for acting on those discriminations. Unfortunately, it has only been in the last sixty years that the government has started getting involved in workplace discrimination. There were efforts in the United State’s congress, in the forties, to stop discrimination but most died in committee and none were passed into law. This paper will cover the history of Title VII, the impact of Title VII in the workplace, who is covered and not covered under Title VII and its amendments, and policies that companies should have in place to avoid violations.

Until 1957 there were no laws enacted that pertained to discrimination. Even then, the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the Civil Rights Act of 1960 only gave minor recognition and protection to minorities. The early laws only protected minorities who worked for the government or businesses who worked for the government. This changed when John F. Kennedy became president. On June 19, 1963 President John F. Kennedy spoke to the 88th congress and presented a message that stated:

Finally I renew my support of pending Federal fair employment practices legislation, applicable to both employers and unions. Approximately two-thirds of the Nation's labor force is already covered by Federal, State, and local equal employment opportunity measures including those in the 22 states and numerous cities which have enacted such laws as well as those paid directly or indirectly by Federal funds. But, as the Secretary of Labor testified in January 1962, Federal legislation is desirable, for it would help set a standard for all the Nation and close existing gaps (Kennedy, 1963, as stated in Vaas, 1966).

Kennedy’s speech led congress to begin drafting numerous Civil Rights laws from segregation in education to discrimination in employment.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into place by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. From this legislation the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was created and charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws. Times change and as they do Title VII has been amended to reflect those times. The last amendment was on February 8, 2000, made by President Bill Clinton. The amendment covered, an issue few if any persons would have thought people could use to discriminate, discrimination based on personal genetic information.

The impact of Title VII in the workplace was extreme in the beginning forcing employers to put aside personal biases and change the way business was conducted. Unions were forced to change their rules of membership. The impact was strong in that no form of discrimination would be tolerated for any reason. Resistance to the law by both employer and employees would obviously be an issue and can still be seen today. This law is the basis for allowing women into firehouses, police forces, and even in to military combat.

There can be no argument that race, ethnicity, nor religion can affect a person’s ability to perform a job. However, a person’s sex can be argued and has been argued in the past and in the present. Police, firefighters, and the military fought hard to keep women from joining the ranks and argued that a women’s demure stature prevented them from being able to perform adequately in the job. Experience soon showed that women were capable of performing the tasks and in some cases superior to men. This did not dissuade some as they then turned to living arrangements as a key issue. Not an issue for police but for firefighters and military the introduction of a woman to the group changes the dynamic and forces change in the way living arrangements are made. The reverse has been seen when men have been considered to harsh and uncaring to work as nurses or flight attendants. Again the integration has been made and both men and women have proven capable. However, though this is issue has been seen less and less in the media, lawsuits are still filed every year as a result of these biases.

In the years immediately following the passage of Title VII, employers tried to utilize the BFOQ exception to preserve discriminatory policies that made it more difficult for women and men to take nontraditional jobs. Employers would suggest that women were not strong enough to perform physically intensive work, such as telephone repair. (4) Men,

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