The federal government prohibits discrimination for a number of reasons, including age, race, sex, color, religion, and national origin. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces all of these laws. EEOC also provides oversight and coordination of all federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies.
Each state has its own laws about discrimination. The state laws mirror what the federal laws say, and in most states the laws have additional bases for what is considered discrimination. Currently, many states are adding laws to prohibit discrimination due to sexual orientation and discrimination due to being in the military. Remember that the law is always evolving.
The current federal laws prohibiting job discrimination are:
• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;
• the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination;
• the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older;
• Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments;
• Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government; and,
• Civil Rights Act of 1991, which, among other things, provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.