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Congress enacted a series of antidiscrimination statutes in the 1960s and 1970s that were designed to combat widespread discrimination in the workplace. The most comprehensive of these laws, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination against employees and prospective employees or applicants on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. Title VII applies to hiring, discharge, transfer, promotion, demotion, compensation, and “terms, conditions, or privileges of employment,” and also addresses other employment issues, including sexual harassment, maternity and religious leave, and retaliation for filing Title VII complaints. This entry reviews the general framework of Title VII in terms of the burden of proof required, the types of claims allowable, and the mechanisms in place for administrative enforcement and ...

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