Significant Employment Statutes
Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII): This statute is a common source of employment litigation. This Federal statute makes it unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire or terminate any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of race, color, religion, sex, including sexual harassment, national origin, and pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. These cases are initially processed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A charge alleging violation of Title VII must be filed within 300 days of the alleged act. The right to sue letter is issued after the case is dismissed by the claimant or the EEOC has made a determination. A lawsuit must be filed within 90 days after receipt of the notice of right-to-sue letter from the EEOC.
Equal Pay Act: This act deals specifically with unlawful differentials in compensation based on sex. The Equal Pay Act makes it unlawful to pay employees at rates less than the rate applicable to employees of the opposite sex for equal work for jobs requiring equal skill, equal effort, equal responsibility, and where the work is performed in similar working conditions. The statute of limitations is two years for these type of claims and can be up to three years if the act is willful. These allegations may be brought directly to federal court or may be filed through the
Americans with Disability Act (ADA): The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability against a qualified prospective or current employee, defined as an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodations can perform his or her essential duties of the employment position for which the person desires or holds. Many states also have statutes that place additional requirements upon employers.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA): The ADEA applies to employees who are age 40 or over and makes it unlawful for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or terminate any employee or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his or her compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of their age. ADEA cases are processed through the EEOC. Many states apply ADEA to all ages prohibiting age discrimination of any kind.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): The FLSA sets the minimum wage and maximum hour/overtime requirements. The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor manages the administration of the FLSA.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The FMLA offers certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave a year, and requires health benefits to be maintained during leave as if the employee continued to work instead of taking the leave. This statute is the responsibility of the Department of Labor (DOL).