Evaluation of the institutional framework
The Government of the United States recognizes and is committed to the principle of the elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation and in its relation to equitable remuneration for male and female workers for equal work, as contemplated by constitutional legislation currently in force in the United States. Specifically, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits states from denying their citizens equal protection of the law. Through the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, this prohibition applies to the United States Government as well. The United States Government further seeks the elimination of all discrimination in employment and occupation on the basis of race, color, religion, sex,
In the United States Constitution
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution contains an equal protection clause that prohibits states from denying their citizens “the equal protection of the laws.” Through the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, this prohibition applies to the Federal Government as well, and has been interpreted to mean that all similarly situated persons are to be treated in the same way. It basically prohibits state governments from adopting legally unjustifiable distinctions between groups of people. When going to court for equal protection, gender-based distinctions must meet the requirements of “intermediate scrutiny “. Under this standard, a description based on gender is only justified if it contributes to an “important government objective”, and if it is “substantially related” to the achievement of this objective. While not as demanding as the strict scrutiny standard that courts apply to racial or ethnic distinctions, this review standard nonetheless requires that gender-based distinctions be supported by a very compelling justification. In the absence of this demonstration, distinctions based on gender constitute a violation of the equal protection clause. The equal protection clause has been interpreted to apply only to intentional discrimination,
Legislation and Mandatory Practices of the United States Government
The principle of elimination of discrimination in relation to employment and occupation is found primarily in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 USC §§ 2000e et seq.). Title VII makes it illegal for an employer with 15 or more employees to discriminate in any aspect of employment on the basis of sex, race, religion, or national extraction (42 USC paragraph 2000e-2, a) ). Title VII also prohibits discrimination by labor organizations and employment agencies (42 USC §2000e-2, b) and c) ).
race and color
In addition to Title VII, other federal laws prohibit discrimination based on race and color. The most significant are listed below.
Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 states that “all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right…to make and enforce contracts…in the same manner as white citizens” (42 USC, paragraph 1981). Article 1981 considers all employers subject to a complaint for discrimination in employment based on race and foreigners. In 1991, section 1981 was amended and strengthened by the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (hereinafter “CRA”). Under the CRA, the provisions of 42 USC §1981 apply to all aspects of the employment relationship, not just the initial formation of the employment contract.
Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 provides that any person who deprives another person of “any rights, privileges, or immunities guaranteed by the Constitution and by law” shall be legally responsible to the aggrieved party (42 USC § 1983). Article 1983 was intended to overcome any discrimination or unconstitutional legislation of the federated states and to correct the civil rights situation when the state legislation was inadequate or could not be used in practice.
Section 1985 of the 1871 Act further provides a cause of action for a subsequent action of private conspiracy which injures or injures a person or deprives him of a right or privilege (29 USC § 1985). Articles 1983 and 1985 have been used in various ways as a means of preventing discrimination in employment.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 USC §2000d) provides that no one in the United States shall be excluded, on account of race, color, or national extraction, from participating in, obtaining benefits from, or any other form of discrimination in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. This provision is intended to control discrimination in public investment programs. If these programs are aimed at providing employment, Title VI prohibits discrimination on these grounds.
The enactment of the Act was significant in authorizing racial integration, prohibiting the segregation of blacks in schools, public spaces, and employment, and creating an Equal Opportunity Commission for race and gender at work.
The action occurred after several events of great importance: centuries of abuses against the human rights of African Americans, whose mark was slavery , repression and torture ―in 1619 the first black slaves arrived in what were then thirteen British colonies in North America ―; the march on Washington for work and freedom, on August 28, 1963, with the participation of between two hundred and three hundred thousand people, precisely to pressure congressmen to approve the civil rights law ―scenario of the historic “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.―; and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963 , and after the landslide victory of the Democratic candidate in the 1964 elections, Lyndon B. Johnson, against the Republican Barry Goldwater. Under US law, Johnson, vice president during the Kennedy administration, had already held the presidency since Kennedy’s assassination, but his elective campaign put him back at the head of that country.
Johnson had been lobbying for the Civil Rights Act since 1957, and at Kennedy’s death he met with several African-American leaders to lay the final foundations for this document, and with legislators and labor leaders. That’s why everyone was present at the White House when it was signed: Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy Wilkins, Clarence Mitchell, of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP, for its acronym in English ), among others.
On January 8, 1964, in his speech before Congress, Lyndon B. Johnson had urged that the session be recognized as exemplary, since it had achieved “more in favor of civil rights than in the previous hundred sessions combined.” The acceptance of the law led congressmen to investigate and debate for months, the House of Representatives dedicated more than 70 days of public hearings, in which about 275 witnesses offered almost 6,000 pages of testimony. At the end of that process, the bill passed by a vote of 290 to 130.
The Civil Rights Act was a revolutionary piece of legislation in the United States, where forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, in all forms of segregation, were made illegal. At the beginning, its application was weak, as well as the legal tools to enforce it, but over time these resources were complemented, beginning a long battle against injustice and in favor of equality. In 1965, the Voting Rights Law underpinned this struggle through democratic means.
The main features of the Civil Rights Act are as follows:
- It outlawed the lopsided enforcement of voter registration requirements, but by not eliminating literacy tests it left a method of excluding African-American voters.
- He banned discrimination in public places, separatism in those spaces: motels, hotels, theaters, restaurants and any interstate commerce premises.
- It restricted the regional and local authority to prevent access to public services to any person based on criteria of religion, gender, race or ethnic origin.
- It discouraged segregation in public schools and allowed victims of this attitude to sue, through the United States Attorney General’s Office.
- Banned employment discrimination: No one could be denied a job based on color, race, sex, national origin, or religion.
Currently, in the United States there is an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is in charge of investigating complaints of discrimination and violations of workers’ rights, expanding its work with the defense of the rights of immigrants and foreign workers, who face the new wave of employment discrimination. Among the possible forms of discrimination, the Government of that country recognizes intimidation, threats of behavior, withholding of wages, unfair wages, not granting leave due to pregnancy, exclusion for having different abilities and any civil violation subsequent to the 1964 law.