Employment discrimination has been an issue among workers for
years. This is especially true among the many immigrants in recent
years who have settled in the United States to take advantage
of work related opportunities and fulfill the promise of a better
A few immigrants have come to escape persecution
from repressive governments while others due to varying reasons.
What is apparent, though, is that American born citizens comparatively
have enjoyed the utmost freedom and equal status from a government
anchored on a democratic platform.
Most large corporations and multinationals have attempted to
conform to the tenets of federal government laws, particularly
those seeking prevention of employment discrimination by virtue
of race, gender sexual orientation, religion, national origin,
physical disability and age.
Employment discrimination over the years has included biases
in hiring, job assignments, wrongful
termination, unequal compensation packages and different
types of sexual
harassment. Laws, both federal and state laws, have
been enacted to provide additional protection in cases of employment
discrimination where the government employer has to take concrete
steps to implement the same statutes as that of private employers.
These are all embodied in the 5th and 14th amendment of the United
States Constitution that limit the power of the federal and state
governments to practice employment discrimination and deprive
citizens the right to life, liberty, or property without the due
process of law.. This likewise includes an implicit guarantee
that all US citizens receive equal protection of the laws of the
The 14th amendment of the Constitution meanwhile explicitly prohibits
any states from violating an individual's right to due process
and equal protection. In the context of employment, the right
to equal protection limits the power of the State and Federal
government to discriminate in their employment practices by treating
employees, former employees or job applicants less than equally
regardless of membership in a group (race or sex). It further
states that due process compels employers to follow procedural
guidelines in the termination of employees.
Another law that helped curb employment discrimination is the
Equal Pay Act, which amended the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1963.
This law prohibits the payment of wages based on sex or gender
by employers and unions.
The same does not however prohibit discriminatory practices in
hiring. The law states further that workers performing equal work
on jobs requiring "equal skill, effort and responsibility,
and performed under similar working conditions" should be
paid equally. The Fair Labor Standards Act applies to all employees
engaged in interstate commerce.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination
in many aspects of work relationship, including the non-hiring
of pregnant women because of impending childbirth or related medical
The act makes it illegal for employers to engage in employment
discrimination in the course of hiring, discharging and compensation
as well as in the implementation of terms, conditions and privileges
pertinent to employment. The Nineteenth Century Civil Rights Acts,
as amended in 1993, ensures all persons equal rights under the
law and outlines the damages available to complainants served
under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Other topics that are a part of employment discrimination include
Sexual Harassment, Wage and Hour Claims, Pregnancy Discrimination,
Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Rights, the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act and the whistleblower cases where individuals
report employers for violating employment laws and/or fraud laws.