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challenge. The problems related to obtaining equal rights and justice for
people who are viewed as different from the social and political elite has
been daunting ( Kluegel & Smith, 1986; Takaki, 1993 ). This was demon-
strated by the example of discrimination related to rural farming,
described as “sharecropping,” and the exploitation of the industrial work-
force. The discrimination of African Americans and mistreatment of
Hispanic immigrant labor is a more contemporary example ( Burns & Ali,
2012; Marsigilia & Kulis, 2009 ).
Although there are a number of perspectives related to workplace
diversity, this chapter will primarily focus on workplace discrimination. It
will also address circumstances and experiences of discrimination in the
context of a serious US economic downturn. Parallel to the overall his-
tory of diversity and discrimination in the workplace, there are the related
laws and policies that protect and defend workers against challenges to
their diversity. Workplace discrimination is broadly viewed as including
diverse groups or individuals who are not specifically defined by equal
opportunity, affirmative action, and non-discrimination laws. The provi-
sions of the federal Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Laws prohi-
biting job discrimination are as follows:
￿ Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits
employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or
national origin;
￿ The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women
who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from
sex-based wage discrimination;
￿ The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which
protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older;
￿ Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of
1990, as amended, which prohibit employment discrimination against
qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state
and local governments;
￿ Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which pro-
hibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who
work in the federal government;
￿ Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008
(GINA), which prohibits employment discrimination based on genetic
information about an applicant, employee, or former employee;
￿ The Civil Rights Act of 1991, which, among other things, provides
monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.
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