The Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars discrimination based on race, national origin and religion. The law applies to all employers that have at least 15 full- or part-time workers and includes U.S. companies that employ Americans abroad.
In 2012, the EEOC, which enforces the law, received 33,512 charges of race discrimination, 10,883 of national origin discrimination and 3,811 of religion-based discrimination. Many of the cases are dismissed or settled, but others end up in federal court. Well-founded ones may result in multimillion-dollar settlements or verdicts.
Even if employers are vindicated in court, their legal bills mount and they incur the intangible cost of disruption and time away from doing business. Clearly, discrimination based on race, religion and national origin remains a problem.
In 1991, Congress amended the Civil Rights Act to strengthen enforcement. Those amendments added compensatory and punitive damages t...(register to read more)