In today’s age it can be difficult for many to imagine a world in which applicants were denied employment for factors such as their gender, race, religion or national origin. We have grown accustomed to living in a country that provides legislative protection in the case of discrimination in and outside the workforce. Yet, this was not always the case. It has been a mere 52 years since the illegalization of “discrimination in education, employment, public accommodations and the receipt of federal funds on the basis on race, color, gender, national origin and religion.”(BL pg.98) This new set of legislation is known as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Although it did not make amends for year of abuse and discrimination, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 set in a motion a new era in the people’s fight for equality.
Discrimination has played a large part in our history, most evidently seen in the enslavement of African Americans and the discrimination they continued to suffer even after they had been freed after the Civil War. Although African Americans were finally able to gain back their freedom; they did not gain equality in the eyes of their former oppressors. Resentful of the newfound freedom of African Americans, laws known as Jim Crow laws were established throughout the United Stated by states and local governments. These discriminatory laws worked to systematically oppress African Americans through segregation and violence. They were segregated from whites; forbidden to attend the same schools, eat in the same restaurants or intermarry. African Americans were treated as second class citizens; lesser beings that had no rights. “Blacks could not vote, sue whites, testify against them, raise their voice...
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...EEOC’s chairman in 2009, “sex discrimination against males and females alike continues to be a problem in the 21st century.”(pg. 338 – EEOC press release.) Gender itself plays a prominent role in our lives in the form of stereotypes, customs and ideas which are often discriminatory in nature, whether intentional or not. Of the two genders, women continue to be the most affected by gender discrimination and even as the number of woman in high positions continues to grow, they are still a proportionately large number of filled claims. (pg.338-339). According to a report released by the EEOC in 2010, “gender suits account for the second highest percentage of substantive claims brought under Title VII, behind race.” (#9, EEOC Change Statisitc) Similarly to race and color discrimination, gender discrimination continues to find its way into the workplace in various forms.
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