Two important federal laws protect employees from racial discrimination: Courts often analyze legal claims under these two statutes in a very similar, if not identical, fashion and the same set of facts can be pursued under both laws simultaneously. Congress and the Supreme Court, however, have made it clear that, while these two statutes are similar, they remain separate and distinct causes of actions. It is thus important to know how the differences between Title VII and Section can help, or potentially sink, your case.
Title VII makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex including pregnancy and gender identity or religion.
The Act also makes it unlawful to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
Title VII prohibits not only intentional discrimination, but also practices that have the effect of discriminating against individuals because of their race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. Originally included as part of the Civil Rights Act ofSection a states in relevant part:. All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other.
On a broader level, both statutes outlaw employment discrimination based on race. But five key differences exist between these two related laws that can make or break your case. But Title VII also prohibits using hiring practices that are neutral on their Disparate impact theory of title vii sexual harassment such as written testswhich have a discriminatory outcome: Under the disparate impact theoryeven if the employer did not intend for an employment practice to exclude protected groups, if the practice ultimately has the effect of rejecting an excessive number of otherwise qualified, for example, female or African-American applicants, then using the practice might violate Title VII.
So if your case involves a disparate impact claim challenging, for example, an employment test or a compensation system, that claim may be pursued under Title VII, but not Section And depending on which state the employee lives in, the time period can be either or days to file the charge if the employee works in the private sector.
Different procedures and time periods apply if the employee works for the federal, state, or local government. Sectionhowever, does not require an employee to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. This distinction is particularly important if the employee has missed the deadline to file an EEOC charge of discrimination because the employee may still be able to assert a claim under Section As noted above, the deadline for filing an EEOC charge of discrimination can be up to days, depending on where you live and whether you are in the public or private sector.
Claims asserted under Section though have a significantly longer statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit. Indeed, an employee may file a Section within four years of the violation. If an employee wins their Title VII employment discrimination case, a cap will apply on the amount of damages that the jury can award. Disparate impact theory of title vii sexual harassment forms of monetary damages, including back pay and front pay, are also available under Title VII and are not subject to a cap.
By contrast, no cap on monetary damages exists for a lawsuit brought under Section Section provides several additional benefits not contained in Title VII, but in at least one area—scope of protected classes—Title VII offers broader coverage.
A case out of the U. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Torgerson v. City of RochesterF. This and other federal rulings, see, e. Citizens Financial GroupFed. Al—KhazrajiU. The Torgerson case thus holds that Section does not authorize discrimination claims based on national origin. If your case involves a disparate impact claim, it should be pursued under Title VII rather than Section. The statute of limitations for a Section complaint is 4 years, while the deadline to file an EEOC charge of discrimination in a Title VII lawsuit is less than one year the exact deadline varies on the type of employer and the state you work in.
If your claim involves discrimination based on Disparate impact theory of title vii sexual harassment protected characteristic other than race for example, gender or religionthen Section likely will not apply although Title VII would still be an option; and.
If you assert a claim for national origin discrimination under Sectioncourts may require a clear link showing that the claimed discrimination was tied to your race, ancestry, or ethnic characteristics.
Bachman holds extensive litigation experience, including trials in federal and state courts, and has also set important Skip to main content. Renato Perez Navigating Peaks and Valleys: Paolo Beconcini Law Firm Marketing: David Helberg Reversal of Fortune: Court Reconsiders and Reverses Earlier Ruling November 14, Blog Series Part 6: Dual Special Needs Plans by: Rafael Reyneri Law Firm Marketing: Pinheiro and Robert S.
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