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Employment

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Employment

  1. What laws does the EEOC enforce and do they apply to my work place?
  2. How do I determine if the EEOC laws cover a work place of my employer's size?
  3. Who may file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC?
  4. When can charges of discrimination be filed?
  5. Can my employer take action against me for filing charge?
  6. What are the Immigration Reform and Control Act and must my work place comply with it?

What laws does the EEOC enforce and do they apply to my work place?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits race, color, religion, sex, and national origin discrimination. Title VII applies to:

  • employers with fifteen (15) or more employees

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination against individuals who are forty (40) years of age or older. The ADEA applies to:

  • employers with twenty (20) or more employees

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. The ADA applies to:

  • employers with fifteen (15) or more employees

Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) prohibits wage discrimination between men and women in substantially equal jobs within the same establishment. The EPA applies to:

  • most employers with one or more employees

These laws prohibit employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, and prohibit retaliation for opposing job discrimination, filing a charge, or participating in proceedings under these laws.

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How do I determine if the EEOC laws cover a work place of my employer's size?

All employees, including part-time and temporary workers, are counted for purposes of determining whether an employer has a sufficient number of employees.

An employee is someone with whom the employer has an employment relationship. The existence of an employment relationship is most easily shown by a person's appearance on the employer's payroll, but this alone does not necessarily answer the question. Determining whether an employer has enough employees to be covered by these laws is, ultimately, a legal question.

Independent contractors are not counted as employees. Determining whether an individual is, under the law, an independent contractor, also is a legal question that may not be as easy to answer as you might think.

If you are unsure whether your employer is covered, you may wish to consult with an attorney.

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Who may file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC?

Anyone who believes that his or her employment rights have been violated because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability or because of retaliation may file a charge of discrimination with EEOC. By law, EEOC must accept the filing of a charge.

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When can charges of discrimination be filed?

In most geographic areas, a charge must be filed with EEOC within 300 days from the date of the alleged discrimination. In a very small number of areas where a state or local employment discrimination law does not apply, a charge must be filed within 180 days.

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Can my employer take action against me for filing a charge?

No. The EEOC-enforced statutes contain strong protections against retaliation for having filed an EEOC charge, even if the charge is later dismissed by the EEOC or rejected by a court.

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What are the Immigration Reform and Control Act and must my work place comply with it?

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) makes it unlawful for an employer to hire any person who is not legally authorized to work in the United States, and it requires employers to verify the employment eligibility of all new employees.

IRCA also prohibits discrimination in hiring and discharge based on national origin (as does Title VII) and on citizenship status. IRCA's anti-discrimination provisions are intended to prevent employers from attempting to comply with the Act's work authorization requirements by discriminating against foreign-looking or foreign-sounding job applicants. IRCA's anti-discrimination provisions apply to smaller employers than those covered by EEOC-enforced laws.

IRCA's national origin discrimination provisions apply to employers with between 4 and 14 employees (who would not be covered by Title VII).

IRCA's citizenship discrimination provisions apply to all employers with at least 4 employees.

IRCA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice. For information on IRCA's anti-discrimination provisions, contact:

  • United States Department of Justice
  • Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related
  • Unfair Employment Practices
  • (800) 255-8155 (employer hotline/voice)
  • (800) 237-2515 (TDD)
  • http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/osc
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Last Review and Update: Nov 18, 2002
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