Equal Opportunities in Employment Historical Analysis

Essay by Lilacwine15University, Master'sA+, April 2003

download word file, 35 pages 4.6

Equal Opportunities in Employment

Historical Analysis

There have been many changes in legislation concerning equal employment opportunities. These are mostly an attempt to protect minorities from discrimination in the workplace. In this paper we will examine some of the laws that have been put in place, their purpose, origins and limitations. The United States of America is a country in which there exists, in theory, an environment where people are free to own their own businesses without government intervention. There are however, various exceptions where the government steps in. One way in particular is with regards to the protection of minority groups.

One of the barriers against employee discrimination came in the form of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited employment discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. One of the earliest movements towards the advancement of this cause occurred in 1962, when a man named Cesar Chaves decided to organize the migrant laborers of the California grape farms.

Most, though not all of the farm workers he rallied, including himself, were Hispanics. These families had to subsist on average yearly salaries of about $2000 per year, barely enough to survive. It took this ragtag group of migrant worker about three years to make themselves heard, and in 1965 they finally went on strike in a movement known as La Causa . This nonviolent strike lasted three years, and it culminated in the creation of the Farm Workers Union.

Around this same time sanitation workers in Tennessee went on strike to protest the unfair treatment they felt they were receiving. They felt they were being mistreated because during a period of bad weather, a group of black workers was sent home without pay, while white workers were permitted to continue working and receiving compensation. Despite...