Today marks the federal holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. According to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Dr. King’s nonviolent movement in the late 1950’s and ‘60s achieved legal equality for African-Americans in the United States, and his actions contributed to the passage of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race or color (as well as religion, national origin, or sex) when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
Even though the Civil Rights Act is almost 50 years old, race and color discrimination continues to exist in the workplace. In fact, racial discrimination is one of the most frequently filed claims with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), second only to retaliation charges in FY 2011.
Best Practices for Employers