Key Point 8-12. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers engaged in commerce and having at least 15 employees from discriminating in any employment decision on the basis of race, col-or, national origin, gender, or religion.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted by Congress “to achieve a peaceful and voluntary settlement of the persistent problem of racial and religious discrimination.”86 SEN. REPORT NO. 872, 88TH CONG., 2ND SESS. (1964).Title VII, Section 703(a), of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifies:
(a) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer
(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise ad-versely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
This general ban on discrimination applies to all employers, including religious organizations, that have 15 or more employees and that are engaged in an industry or activity “affecting commerce.” The “commerce” and “15 employee” requirements are discussed earlier in this chapter.
Note that Title VII only addresses discrimination committed by employers against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of any one or more of the following five grounds:
- national origin