State and Federal Laws Prohibiting Employment Discrimination

Reference Number: 

The primary laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace are:

  1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin;
    (a) The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is an amendment to Title VII that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions;
    (b) The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) is an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from gender-based wage discrimination;
  2. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from age-based discrimination; and
  3. Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities.
  4. Title II of the Genetic Information Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employment discrimination based on genetic information.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces all of these laws. EEOC also provides oversight and coordination of all federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices and policies.

The Tennessee Human Rights Act, T.C.A. § 4-21-101 et seq., also prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age and national origin. The state laws are very similar to the federal laws discussed above.