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What You Need to Know About Title VII

In our legal practice, we frequently counsel employees on the legal landscape of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Our years of experience working with employees in a multitude of occupations across the State of Michigan helps us answer five essential, frequently asked questions regarding Title VII.

What is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Title VII is a federal law prohibiting discrimination in the workplace. Title VII provides it shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity) or national origin.

What is a Title VII violation?

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), “Title VII prohibits not only intentional discrimination, but also practices that have the effect of discriminating against individuals because of their race, color, national origin, sex, or religion.”

Discriminatory practices under Title VII include:

  • Harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity) or religion;
  • Refusal or failure to reasonably accommodate an individual’s sincerely held religious observances or practices, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business
  • Employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy discrimination, sexual orientation, and gender identity), or religion; and
  • Denial of employment opportunities to an individual because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity) or religion.

Who does Title VII protect?

Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including private employers, labor unions, the federal government, and employment agencies. Title VII protection covers a wide range of employment decisions such as recruitment, terminations, compensation and benefits, training, job transfers, promotion and demotion, retirement plans, employment leave, use of company facilities, layoffs and recalls, and other terms and conditions of employment.

Why is Title VII important?

Title VII is regarded as one of the single most important pieces of federal civil rights legislation in United States history. Title VII has expanded to protect employees from all forms of discrimination in the workplace. The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also leads to the creation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to enforce Title VII and eliminate unlawful employment discrimination.

What is the difference between Title IX and Title VII?

Both laws are used to combat discrimination. Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance, whereas Title VII protects individuals in the workplace.

We are ready to help

If you would like an employment law attorney to assist your Tile VII needs or represent you in the event you are discriminated against in the workplace, please call 888-312-7173 or email attorney Noah Hurwitz.