Since the end of the Civil War, the United States Congressional bodies have passed numerous regulations and laws in an effort to provide more equity among the many races that inhabit this country. Beginning with The Civil Rights Act of 1866 to The Civil Rights Act of 1991, legislation to protect an individual's rights as well as provide the same rights to all races have been enacted. A discussion of the history and evolution of Equal Employment Opportunity, also known as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the impact of Title VII in the workplace will be provided. In addition, an explanation of who is and who is not protected byTitle VII will be offered. Finally, descriptions of several policies that companies should include in their policies and procedures manuals to avoid Title VII violations will be provided.
History and Evolution of Title VII
Several months before the end of the Civil War, the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution abolishing slavery was proposed to the states and ratified by 19 of 36 states by the time the Civil War effectively ended on April 9, 1865.
It was ratified by another eight states during subsequent months and "ratification was completed on December 6, 1865" (13th Amendment). Six more states ratified the 13th Amendment by 1870, but not before passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which "provided that all citizens would enjoy the same rights as white citizens." Slaves had always been denied the right to own property, sign contracts, sue, or to be part of any legal proceedings. With passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, former slaves and all races were to have the same rights to own property, etc. as white citizens always had. Unfortunately, enacting a new law...