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Sample Essay on Discrimination: Kinds of Discrimination DOJ Does NOT Protect Us from

September 15th, 2017

The issue of workplace discrimination has posed legal challenges ever since the days of the Civil Right Movement. Today, we still struggle with protecting individuals from unfair and discriminatory practices in the workplace. The article below can help you craft a strong essay on this complex topic.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the crowning achievement of the Civil Rights Movement. Lawmakers and activists fought for years to extend protections to black people who were often targeted by hate groups and Jim Crow laws which made it impossible for them to advance in the workplace as their white peers could. This legislation made it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or religion. Because of this legislation, employees cannot be fired because of their race or demoted because of their religious beliefs. However, there are some groups who don’t seem to fall within these protected classes: familial caregivers, military personnel, and gay or transgender individuals. In some cases, Title VII may be interpreted loosely to provide protection for these groups, or they may be protected by other legislation. But this is not always true.

Caregivers who are responsible for the needs of young children or sick spouses sometimes face discrimination in the workplace. A woman who is pregnant or the mother of young children may be passed over for a promotion in favor of men or child-free women who have the same qualifications. Employees may lose out on opportunities if they need to take time off to care for an aging parent. The Civil Rights Act does not explicitly offer protection for such situations. However, some people interpret such cases to be in the domain of gender discrimination. Individual states like Alaska and Connecticut have put laws in place to protect people from discrimination because of parenthood or familial obligations.

Another group that has faced discrimination in the workplace is military employees and veterans. In the past, if a worker was called up for active service in the military, they often found that their employers replaced them in their absence. They also faced challenges in getting hired or obtaining fair pay in the workplace. While Title VII does not provide protections for this group, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) was signed into law in 1994. This act protects the jobs of active military personnel and removes discriminatory barriers to reemployment.

Another group that does not explicitly fall under the protection of Title VII are members of the LGBT community. Gay, bisexual, and transgender people encounter discrimination in many forms, including in the workplace. Ever since 1975, legislators and activists have tried to extend Title VII protections to this group, but all attempts have failed. While some judges interpret sex discrimination broadly to include “sexual orientation,” this is open to interpretation and isn’t specifically stated. The vulnerability of this particular group has recently become evident with President Trump’s proposed ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.

The issue of workplace discrimination is complex, especially as our culture changes. Protecting a wide variety of people from discrimination in the workplace is not easy or simple. While the spirit of the Civil Rights Act remains in force, the letter of the law still leaves many groups unprotected.

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