TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, as amended (TITLE VII)
What is Title VII?
Title VII is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination because of
religion. Illegal employment practices include different treatment,
workplace harassment, and policies or practices that adversely impact protected groups. Employers must also provide reasonable accommodations to the sincerely held religious practices of employees unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship for the company. Title VII also prohibits
retaliation because a person opposed employment discrimination or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
Employer Coverage: With some exceptions, Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, employment agencies, and labor organizations. Title VII also applies to federal, state, and local governments.
Employees Covered: With some exceptions, Title VII covers employees and applicants for employment. Title VII does not cover independent contractors.
Establishing a Title VII Claim: The main arguments advanced by employees bringing a Title VII claim are as follows:
- Disparate Treatment (intentional discrimination)
- Disparate Impact (neutral policies or practices that adversely affect a protected group)
- Failure to Accommodate (religion)
Enforcement: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title VII. In general, an employee starts the process by filing a complaint (charge) with the EEOC within the applicable 180- or 300-day time period. Federal employees must contact the agency's EEO counselor within 45 days to file a federal employee discrimination complaint.
Remedies: An employee who wins a Title VII case is entitled to be made "whole" meaning put back into the condition he or she would have been but for the discrimination. Remedies may include injunctions; declaratory relief; hiring; promotion; reinstatement; back pay; front pay; reasonable accommodation; compensatory damages; punitive damages (against private employers in limited cases); and recovery of attorneys' fees, expert witness fees and court costs.
If you need an experienced employment lawyer for a discrimination case under Title VII because of race, color, national origin, gender, or religious discrimination in the workplace, call attorney Lori Searcy today at 703-644-4122 / 202-393-1443 or complete the
employment case review form. For more information about employment discrimination laws in D.C. or Virginia, visit:
The Employment Law Chronicle.