The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces prohibitions against several categories of employment discrimination. Prohibitions against discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability and genetic information, as well as reprisal for protected activity are derived from the following legislation:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
- Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
- Title II of the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA)
- The Civil Rights Act of 1991
The EEOC has the authority to interpret the legislation in order to enforce the laws and adjudicate alleged violations. For example, in Macy v. Dep’t of Justice, the EEOC held that discrimination against an individual because that person is transgender (also known as gender identity discrimination) is discrimination because of sex, which falls under the scope of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Similarly, the EEOC has found that claims by lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals alleging sex-stereotyping state a sex discrimination claim under Title VII and can proceed. Although discrimination based on a person’s status as a parent is not explicitly prohibited by the aforementioned laws, the EEOC has found under certain circumstances that discrimination based on an individual’s status as a caregiver is considered sex discrimination under Title VII or disability discrimination under the ADA.
Federal government employees are not only protected by the laws enforced by the EEOC but have additional discrimination protections and complaint procedures available to them.
If you believe you have been discriminated against in the workplace, contact an experienced New York labor and employment law attorney who can evaluate your case and provide diligent representation.