VII is the section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits
discrimination against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, and
conditions of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion,
sex, or national origin.
It also prohibits retaliation against any employee or individual for exercising
their rights under the act.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
In this chapter:
An employer is subject to Title VII if it has 15 employees on the payroll on
each working day of at least 20 weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.
Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against any worker or job
applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This
means that employers may not use any of these conditions to:
or refuse to hire an individual;
against employees in terms of their compensation, working conditions, or
privileges of employment;
segregate, or classify employees or job applicants in any way that tends
to deprive them of individual or employment opportunities or that
adversely affects their status as an employee;
or restrict admission to any program that provides apprenticeship or
other training, including on-the- job training;
a preference in advertisements related to employment or training
in any employment practice that results in creating a "disparate
impact" on a protected class, if the employer cannot demonstrate
that the "challenged practice is job related for the position in
question and consistent with business necessity."
Under Title VII it is not unlawful for an employer to:
different wages or provide different terms or privileges of employment to
workers if such actions are based on a bona fide merit, seniority, or
other system designed to measure quantity or quality of production;
religion, sex, or national origin into account in making employment
decisions about jobs in which these factors are legitimate
qualifications (This exemption does not extend to race.); or
an employment decision on the results of professionally developed
ability tests that are not designed, intended, or used to discriminate.
or job applicants who believe that they have been discriminated against may file
a Title VII charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Before
processing a charge, EEOC must notify the employer of the allegations and must
give state and local fair employment agencies at least 60 days to resolve them.
EEOC must investigate the charge after the state or local agency has acted or 60
days have elapsed, and during investigations EEOC can require an employer to
provide relevant records or evidence. If the investigation does not reveal any
discrimination, EEOC dismisses the charge. If EEOC finds support for the
discrimination charge, it must try to resolve the dispute informally through
conciliation proceedings. If this effort fails, the commission can file suit
against the employer in a U.S. district court.
The act allows employees and job applicants who have Title VII complaints to
bring suit directly in a U.S. district court after their charges have been on
file with EEOC for 180 days and the commission has not dismissed them.
Complainants retain their private right to sue even if EEOC determines that
discrimination did not occur.
which find that discrimination occurred can order the employer to:
engaging in the unlawful employment practices.
the employer to undertake affirmative action.
the wages or salaries of discrimination victims and pay them back wages
with interest. An employer's back-pay obligation can cover up to two
years before the charge was filed with EEOC, and can continue until the
discrimination victims are earning what they would have been earning if
the discrimination had not occurred. Back-pay can be reduced by up to
the amount the victim earned between the time the discrimination first
occurred and when it ended.
improper entries in victims' personnel records.
other equitable relief.
Title VII requires employers to keep certain records, including all personnel
and employment records that relate to applications, hirings, promotions,
transfers, layoffs, terminations, pay rates and other compensation terms, and
selections for training or apprenticeship programs. Employers also must keep all
personnel records related to a discrimination charge until its final
with 100 or more workers are required to file annual EEO-1 reports with EEOC.
All employers are required to post an official EEO notice stating that equal
employment is the law and indicating that individuals should contact EEOC if
they feel the employer has discriminated against them. Employers may obtain the
EEO poster from the EEOC.
Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures
In this chapter:
The Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (29 CFR §1607) are
designed to help employers comply with federal laws that prohibit using
selection procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion,
sex, and national origin.
The guidelines apply to employers subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964 and/or Executive Order 11246.
the guidelines, any employment selection procedure is discriminatory if it has
an adverse impact on the hiring, promotion, or other employment opportunities of
people of any race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. A selection
procedure has an adverse impact if the final selection rate for any race, color,
religion, sex, or national origin is less than 80 percent of the rate for the
group that has the highest selection rate. The guidelines allow an employer to
use a selection procedure that results in an adverse impact if the employer
shows that the procedure measures a trait related to successful performance on
the job or if the employer eliminates the features that cause the adverse
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the departments of Labor,
Justice, and Treasury use the guidelines in exercising their respective
authorities to enforce Title VII and Executive Order 11246.
Employers with more than 100 employees are required to keep detailed records of
employee selection procedures for each job to help enforcement officials
determine if the procedures have an adverse impact. Records should include the
number of people hired, promoted, and terminated each year; the number of
applicants for hire and for promotion; and the selection procedures used to fill
each vacancy. Employers that have 100 or fewer employees must record the sex of
each person who fills each job, plus each one's race or national origin if it
comprises more than 2 percent of the relevant labor market. The guidelines do
not require employers to follow any particular procedure in recording
applicants' sex, race, or national origin. Employers may rely on the applicant's
self-identification or, where applications are made in person, employers may
establish records based on their visual observation of the applicant.
Last updated: 03-04