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Diversity in the Workplace. A Legal Perspective. Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964. an employer may not treat an employee differently or poorly on the basis of race, national origin, color of skin, religion, age, disability, or sex/gender

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Diversity in the Workplace

A Legal Perspective

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Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • an employer may not treat an employee differently or poorly on the basis of race, national origin, color of skin, religion, age, disability, or sex/gender

  • employers with 15 or more employees, dealing with interstate commerce and subject to federal regulation

  • expanded to include not only employees but also patrons and vendors

  • administered by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  • expanded with Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967, Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, and with The American Disability Act of 1990.

  • Affirmative Action and Title VII are opposites

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The Protected Classes

  • Race-Caucasian, Asian, Black, Pacific Islander, American Indian

  • National Origin-country of birth, ethnicity, ancestry or culture

  • Color of Skin-regardless of color (reverse)

  • Religion-his or her beliefs, requires accommodation

  • Age-age 40 and over

  • Disability

  • Sex-Gender

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  • Vietnam and disabled veterans

  • A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities

  • ‘Impairment’ is a diagnosable physiological, mental, or psychological disorder or condition

  • ‘Substantially limits’ mean limited more than the average person based on nature, severity, and duration

  • ‘Major life activities’ means walking, breathing, seeing, hearing, learning, sitting, standing, lifting, sleeping, working, and caring for oneself.

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  • Disability Discrimination

    Has a current disability, has a history, or perceived to be

  • Reasonable Accommodation

    Not unduly burdensome (not very costly, does not fundamentally alter the business operation, not a direct threat to the safety and health of other employees)

    Can be equipment, flexible schedules, special construction

  • Access

    Ramps, door widths, parking, accessible restrooms nad facilities.

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  • Pregnancy Discrimination

  • Sexual Harrassment

    Two Types

    Quid pro quo

    Hostile work environment

    Success factors

    Sexual in nature

    Either severe or pervasive

    Unwelcome or unwanted

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Advice for Managers

Have Title VII Policies and Procedures

Be clear about ‘Legitimate Business Purpose’ Concept

Develop Objective Job Critera

Never Retaliate

Advice for Employees

  • Follow Policies andProcedures

  • Behave Reasonably