EEO Legislation in the United States

Attorney Synthia Shilling formerly served with the United States Department of Agriculture. During her time with the USDA, Synthia Shilling worked on equal employment opportunity (EEO) cases in all 17 of the department’s agencies.

There are a number of laws and bills that protect the equal employment opportunity rights of United States citizens. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for example, prohibits discrimination against employees because of their race or any characteristic associated with race, such as skin color, accent, or country of origin. Title VII outlaws any racial harassment in the workplace, including the use of racial epithets, and is also relevant in the event a company implements an office policy that has a harmful effect on a select group of people.

The amended Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is another piece of US legislation used to enforce equal opportunity rights at work. Under the act, a qualified individual with any form of disability cannot be treated unfairly. The act covers physical and mental disabilities as well as cases of severe illness or disease, such as cancer, permitted the employee has the condition under control. This legislation also protects employees against discrimination resulting from a family member’s disability. Legal counsel typically refers to the Rehabilitation Act in instances when an employer fails to effectively accommodate an employee with a disability.

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