60th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Sixty years ago today, on July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination by employers, unions, and employment agencies.  The law applies to all stages of employment, from recruiting to discharge. 

Title VII also created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which began operations on July 2, 1965.

Amendments to Title VII clarified that discrimination based on pregnancy is unlawful sex discrimination, expanded the scope of employers covered by Title VII, clarified when pay discrimination charges can be filed with EEOC, and authorized the EEOC to not only investigate violations of Title VII but to pursue litigation to enforce the law.

In cases decided since 1964, the United States Supreme Court held that Title VII’s protections against discrimination on the basis of sex includes protections against sexual harassment and protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and transgender status.

Other federal laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of age (the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)), on the basis of disability (the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)), and on the basis of genetic information (the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)).

Employers must comply with not only federal anti-discrimination law but state and local laws such as the New York State Human Rights Law, New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, and New York City Human Rights Law.

At Book Law, we recognize the historical importance and legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and support equal opportunity in the workplace.

If you have any questions or concerns about Title VII or any employment-related issues, please contact Chaim Book at cbook@booklawllp.com, Sheryl Galler at SGaller@booklawllp.com, Nadav at Zamir@booklawllp.com or Mordy Book at MBook@booklawllp.com.