According to a study by PNAS, progress toward gender equality is either slow or completely stalled in the U.S.
Social scientists recognize there were significant advancements from 1978 to 2018. Educational attainment and opportunities are the only categories where women have seen improvements.
Gender discrimination in the workplace is a substantial contributor to this problem. So much so we offer a guide on the subject. Despite any awareness or preparation, it can have dramatic effects on opportunities for advancement.
Regardless of what part of your life this issue has touched, federal law may allow you to correct it. Once you read this article, you may find inspiration for any legal actions you may take soon.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII is the bedrock of federal discrimination law. Its place in history is unrivaled and will continue to be the basis for litigation for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, it is safe to say that it is the perfect place to learn about this area of U.S. legislation.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment decisions based on sex. It also makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against you for these reasons:
- National Origin
However, a law is only as good as its enforcement, and there are significant precedents for how this law applies. For instance, Phillips v. Martin Marietta was a milestone case that found gender stereotypes should not factor into hiring decisions.
Legislative Debates About Title VII
Gender is significantly different from sex. The latter is an assignment given at birth based on chromosomes. But the former is a much more complicated topic.
As explained by Planned Parenthood, gender depends on societal expectations for how a particular sex should act. The political and religious debates this creates are a significant point of contention.
As you have likely noticed, it has become a headline news topic in the United States in recent years. In particular, there have been significant changes to suppress or encourage the rights of nonbinary or transgender people.
The result of this evolving dynamic among state and federal legislators is uncertainty. Many legislatures and judiciaries continue to make decisions based on how they interpret Title VII applies to gender identity.
At the time of writing, a series of history-making Supreme Court cases seems inevitable. Regardless of what happens, state or local-level changes can also affect your future legal needs and plans.
Equal Pay Act of 1963
The story of how the Equal Pay Act of 1963 became law starts with World War II. Women replaced men in manufacturing when they left to fight overseas. America could not have exceeded all expectations for the production of planes, tanks, and ships without them.
However, women did not receive the same pay for doing the same job as their male counterparts. In response, the National War Labor Board advocated raising their wages, but their efforts did not succeed.
The opposition to paying women equally prevented it from happening for nearly 20 years afterward. Regardless, the movement gained enough steam to become U.S. law. As a result, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act on June 10, 1963.
Nonetheless, there are regular reports that the gender pay gap remains. Institutions like the FEE identify societal factors as the primary culprit. But if you have a genuine case for discrimination, many well-established precedents can justify a lawsuit.
Legislative Debates About the Equal Pay Act
Federal legislators have tried to boost and maintain the spirit of the Equal Pay Act since it became law. For example, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2021. This legislation would give the EEOC authority to enforce penalties for paying unfair wages based on the following:
- Gender Identity
- Sexual Orientation
- Sex Characteristics
Like with other federal legislation, the states often pass laws in alignment with its purpose. As reported by Reuters, New York State passed a law that covers the protected classes listed above. It also goes further to describe when employers should pay the same. If the work is substantially the same, then the wages must match that reality.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Title IX is well-known for its advancement of opportunities for women to participate in sports. Starting in 1906, the NCAA governed participation in football. Over the years, it became the administrative body for all collegiate sports.
Nevertheless, they did not offer opportunities or scholarships to women athletes. The enactment of this law gave them the right to have programs with equal options in each stage of academic development.
Moreover, Title IX prohibits discrimination in educational programs and extracurricular activities. This legislation also extends to other academic endeavors, research, or occupational training.
Some gender discrimination examples that would fall under Title IX provisions include:
- Supplying unequal resources
- Making unwelcome sexual advances or participating in sexual harassment
- Denying an application for education or training
- Refusing to offer someone a spot on a research team
Legislative Debates About Title IX
The Women’s Sports Foundation documents the proposed changes to this breakthrough in federal law. Two years after President Nixon signed the legislation, a senator proposed a “Tower Amendment” to it. It would have allowed revenue-generating sports to have an exemption. It did not pass, but it was the first significant challenge to the purpose and spirit of Title IX.
More recently, the battles over gender identity politics have become a lightning rod for outrage. Both sides of the ideological spectrum have taken actions that amount to a political tug-of-war. One example of this dynamic was when the Department of Education rescinded its guidance on transgender students in 2017. A few years later, President Biden signed an executive order that extended Title IX protections again.
Do You Need More Help With Federal Gender Discrimination Laws?
The three federal laws described above represent pillars of gender discrimination protection in America. Nevertheless, you have also read how legislators have tried to change their effect on daily life. The differences between how the states respond alone can be complicated and rapidly-changing subjects.
Did you recognize the need for a gender discrimination lawyer by reading this article today? We connect people across the country with local attorneys to counsel them through their litigation options.