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EEO Laws and Regulations that Govern EEO and Civil Rights

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is charged with ensuring the agency is in compliance with the various laws and regulations that govern Federal-sector equal employment opportunity (EEO) and civil rights. These laws and regulations prohibit discrimination in employment on the bases of race, color, religion, sex (includes sexual harassment and discrimination based on pregnancy), disability (mental or physical), age, national origin, sexual orientation, protected genetic information, and retaliation for participation in EEO activity.

FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT OF 1958, AS AMENDED (EQUAL PAY ACT OF 1963 [EPA])

The EPA prohibits sex-based wage discrimination. It prohibits Federal agencies from paying employees of one sex lower wages than those of the opposite sex for performing substantially equal work. Substantially equal work means that the jobs require equal skills, effort, and responsibility, and that the jobs are performed under similar working conditions.

TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED

Title VI prohibits discrimination on the bases of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.

Title VI - Your Rights Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Brochure

TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED

Title VII prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It also prohibits reprisal or retaliation for participating in the discrimination complaint process or for opposing any unlawful employment practice under Title VII.

AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT (ADEA) OF 1967, AS AMENDED

The ADEA prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of age (40 years or older). Unlike Title VII and the Rehabilitation Act, the ADEA allows persons claiming age discrimination to go directly to court without going through an agency's administrative complaint procedures. If, however, a complainant chooses to file an administrative complaint, (s)he must exhaust administrative remedies before proceeding to court. As with Title VII complaints, a complainant exhausts administrative remedies 180 days after filing a formal complaint or 180 days after filing an appeal with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if the EEOC has not issued a decision.

TITLE IX OF THE EDUCATION AMENDMENTS OF 1972, AS AMENDED

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally assisted education programs. ODI works collaboratively with the Department of Education in processing and resolving these complaints. Additionally, ODI's compliance program include desk and on-site reveiws to ensure recipients are in compliance under Title IX.

Title IX - Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Federally Assisted Programs Brochure

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) OF 1990 AND REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973

These laws prohibit discrimination against qualified people with disabilities who are able to perform the essential functions of the job. The law also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to assist individuals in performing their jobs unless the agency can demonstrate that the accommodations would impose an undue hardship on the operation of its program. See "Policy/Updates" for recent amendments to the ADA.

FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT OF 1958, AS AMENDED (EQUAL PAY ACT OF 1963 [EPA])

The EPA prohibits sex-based wage discrimination. It prohibits Federal agencies from paying employees of one sex lower wages than those of the opposite sex for performing substantially equal work. Substantially equal work means that the jobs require equal skills, effort, and responsibility, and that the jobs are performed under similar working conditions.

CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1991

This act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by strengthening and improving Federal civil rights laws. It provides for damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination and clarifies provisions regarding disparate impact action. This act (1) provides appropriate remedies for intentional discrimination and unlawful harassment in the workplace; (2) codifies the concepts of "business necessity" and "job related" enunciated by the Supreme Court; (3) confirms statutory authority and provides statutory guidelines for the adjudication of disparate impact suits under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964, as amended, and (4) responds to recent decisions of the Supreme Court by expanding the scope of relevant civil rights statues to provide adequate protection to the victims of discrimination.

ADMINISTRATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION ACT OF 1996

The Administrative Dispute Resolution Act was created to offer agencies alternative means of resolving controversial issues that relate to an administrative program. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a technique to resolve claims through informal discussions, negotiations, and settlements. Alternative means of dispute resolution are voluntary procedures that supplement rather than limit other available agency dispute resolution techniques.

1998 AMENDMENT TO SECTION 508 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT - DEVELOPMENT, PROCUREMENT, MAINTENANCE, OR USE OF ELECTRONIC AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (E&IT) accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an individual's ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C.794d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220), August 7, 1998, agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others. It is recommended that you review the laws and regulations Section 508 standards and the Federal Acquisition Regulations to further your understanding about Section 508.

SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973 - SECTION 794. NONDISCRIMINATION UNDER FEDERAL GRANTS AND PROGRAMS; PROMULGATION OF RULES AND REGULATIONS

(a) Promulgation of rules and regulations: No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 706 (20) of this title, shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service. The head of each such agency shall promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the amendments to this section made by the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Developmental Disabilities Act of 1978. Copies of any proposed regulations shall be submitted to appropriate authorizing committees of the Congress, and such regulation may take effect no earlier than the thirtieth day after the date on which such regulation is so submitted to such committees. NSF regulations implementing Section 504 are found at 45 CFR Sec. 605. With a few changes, these regulations follow closely the regulations issued by the DHHS at 45 CFR Section 84. Additional information related to Section 504 can be found at the Department of Labor website.

FEDERAL SECTOR EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: 29 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS (C.F.R.) 1614

The regulations governing the processing of Federal sector discrimination complaints are contained in Title 29 C.F.R., Part 1614. These regulations also define the role of the counselors, managers, supervisors, and witnesses.

Management Directive MD-110