Federal Employment Law - Civil Rights Act of 1991

Day 6

Good day! So here we are with the last employment law of our course, the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

According to the EEOC, this act “provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination”

Basically, this is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It seals all the legal loopholes that discriminatory employers might escape into. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 adds more provisions to the law, which would threaten employers from doing discriminatory practices.

Here are the key changes-

If an employer is found guilty of discrimination under federal employment laws, the complainant will not be given a back pay.

Instead, the employers will be giving compensatory damages (to make up for the employee’s losses during the time he was vacant) and punitive damages (which is like a penalty, to discourage the employer from discriminating again)

Rate would be relative to the number of employees in the company. So if the guilty part has:

15 to 100 employees - $50,000 worth of damages will be paid
101to 200 employees - $100,000
201 to 500 employees - $200,000
more than 500 - $300,000

These whopping penalties would somehow scare off employees from being discriminatory.

Trials on employment discrimination need not be handled by a judge. The employee who claims that he/she is a victim of discrimination can request a jury to study the case.

Before, companies who are charged have a favorite scapegoat: they deny that they are guilty of discrimination, that they are just upholding company policies, which, regrettably, made him feel he was being discriminated. The complainant would have to bear the burden of proof that their policies are discriminatory.

Under the revisions, the burden of proof shifts to the employers being sued. They would have to explain and defend the need for their policies.

The changes brought about by the Civil Rights Act of 1991 also affect the cases under the American Disabilities Act.

This amendment would leave employers thinking-- “Is it a wise business move to discriminate employees?”

We’re done! You have just been endowed with fundamental information about the five federal employment laws enforced by the EEOC.

Tomorrow will be our last day. We will cap off our course by discussing tips on how to file a discrimination charge if ever your rights as an employee are violated.

Have a good one!

For further reading, visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website

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