Understanding Federal Employment Laws

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Federal employment laws prohibiting discrimination of any kind are enforced by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This includes discrimination related to an individual’s color, national origin, race, religion and sex. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits wage discrimination based on someone’s sex. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protects employees over age 40.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, prohibits discrimination towards disabled individuals who work in the public sector, as well as state and local governments. Disabled individuals who work for the Federal government was not a protected group until the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was implemented. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 allows to collect monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.

The U.S. Department of Labor

Some federal employment laws are enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor. For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per calendar year due to birth and care of the employee’s newborn child, adoption or foster care placement in the employee’s home, care for a seriously ill immediate family member or medical leave for the employee if they fall seriously ill.

Affirmative action, governed by the U.S. Department of Labor, was introduced in the 1960s and is prevalent in corporations, government institutions, organizations, and schools. Affirmative action was designed to prevent discrimination and promote equal opportunity.

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