The History and Evolution of Title VII.
Today's employment practices have been defined by the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII has advanced the laws regarding anti-discrimination by banning discrimination in the workplace based on religion, national origin, race, color, or gender. From the beginning, the laws have been intended to "promote fairness, equality, and opportunity within the workplace" (Bennett-Alexander, Hartman, 2003, p. 5).
Since the act passed, the workforce has drastically changed. Women and minorities are employed now more than ever. With the enactment of Title VII, the door was opened to prohibiting job discrimination and promoting fairness in employment (Bennett-Alexander, Hartman, 2003, p.21).
Title VII has been amended several times since 1964. Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protecting individuals who are between 40 and 65 years of age from discrimination in employment. This was just three years after Congress had voted down an amendment to Title VII to include age discrimination as an unlawful employment practice.
In 1972, Title VII was amended to include the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, which promises equal opportunities for all of mankind. The Rehabilitation Act was passed in 1973, which prohibits the Federal Government, as an employer, from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities. In 1976, in General Electric Co. v. Gilbert, the Supreme Court ruled that health insurance for employees providing sickness and accident benefits for any disability but those arising as a result of pregnancy did not constitute sex discrimination under Title VII. Congress amended Title VII in 1978 by passing the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and made it clear that discrimination based on pregnancy is unlawful sex discrimination. This legislation reversed the Supreme Court's Gilbert decision in 1976. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1991 which overruled several Supreme...