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Rule of Law - Essay Example

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The Civil Rights Act 1964 One of the most important acts or laws passed is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which addresses the racial discrimination in employment, education and other issues in life. This is known as the “Kennedy Bill” because this act was initiated by the late President John F…
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The Civil Rights Act 1964 One of the most important acts or laws passed is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which addresses the racial discrimination inemployment, education and other issues in life. This is known as the “Kennedy Bill” because this act was initiated by the late President John F. Kennedy and his assassination made the passage of this act successful. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made racial discrimination based on colour, race, or national origin in public places illegal and ensures equal employment opportunities to workers. This act also addresses the issues on denial of voting rights for African Americans and enforces uniform standards for the right to vote (1964 Civil Rights Act, n.d.). The EEOC or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is created under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC is an independent regulatory body that enforces a range of federal statutes prohibiting employment discrimination (Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination Questions and Answers, 2009). Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there are numerous discriminatory practices which should be avoided. First, the harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information or age is not allowed. Second, retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participation in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices is a violation of the act. Third, it is not allowed in the act that employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities, or based on myths or assumptions about an individual's genetic information. Lastly, denying employment opportunities to a person because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability. Title VII also prohibits discrimination because of participation in schools or places of worship associated with a particular racial, ethnic, or religious group (Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination Questions and Answers, 2009). Any employer, employment agency or organization shall observe with all the rules and regulations in the act. EEOC stated that any individual who believes that his or her employment rights have been disobeyed may file a charge of discrimination with EEOC and an individual, organization, or agency may file a charge on behalf of another person in order to guard the aggrieved person's identity (Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination Questions and Answers, 2009). Under the EEOC-enforced laws, compensatory and punitive damages may be available if intentional discrimination is found (Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination Questions and Answers, 2009). The largest class action in the history happened in August 2004 involving 1.5-2.0 million women who have worked at Wal-Mart since 1998. The Dukes, et.al. v. Wal-Mart, Inc. was brought to court by Betty Dukes and six other women on behalf of the women employees of Wal-Mart involving a violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Wal-Mart was charged discriminating the women employees in two ways: in promotions and in pay such that Dukes and her co-plaintiffs are less likely to be promoted and paid less than men for the same work (Sebok, 2007). This case illustrated how a certain company discriminated the women employees of Wal-Mart for years. It is very clear that Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow any employment decisions based on stereotyping or discrimination of abilities, traits, or performance of individuals regarding sex. They alleged that the policies of Wal-Mart left women “vulnerable” to discrimination at the individual store (Sebok, 2007). Supreme Court in recent cases has tried to limit the size of punitive damages by demanding there be a “reasonable relationship” between them and the compensatory damages awarded in the same case, or that they not exceed a ratio in the "single digits" (such as 9-to-1, but not 10-to-1) in relation to the compensatory award in a case. There were issues on how the Supreme Court will determine the “reasonable relationship” (Sebok, 2007). The justices had a hard time arguing what to do with the case and the issues of a class suit. In Dukes v. Wal-Mart, it was not really a smooth sailing case for the judges of the lower courts and the justices of the Supreme Court. There were arguments about the class suits and questions of fact or law that were allegedly common to all the class members (Sebok, 2007). In the end, the case was settled for $3 billion (Liptak, 2011). Sources: 1964 Civil Rights Act (n.d.). Retrieved July 5, 2011 from http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAcivil64.htm Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination Questions And Answers, (2009). Retrieved July 10, 2011 from http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html Liptak, A. (2011). When Lawsuit Is Too Big. Retrieved July 10, 2011 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/03/weekinreview/03liptak.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=us Sebok, A. (2007). The Federal Appellate Decision for the Plaintiffs in the Sex Discrimination Class Action Against Wal-Mart: What Will Wal-Mart Do Next?. Retrieved July 10, 2011 from http://writ.news.findlaw.com/sebok/20070213.html Read More
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