Employment Laws on Discrimination

Discrimination in employment relationship in both public and private sector is influenced by the political and intellectual understanding of a “just and proper society”. The roots of American discrimination began from slavery, military segregation, Civil War, and from the patterns of relations between the government and the people.

Gender discrimination, for example, has been one of the major civil issues such as feminism which is still unresolved especially in military or in news reporting such that women reporters are banned from men’s locker rooms (Lindemann, Grossman, & Cane, 2002). There are various issues on discrimination although there are now employment laws in support for alleviating discrimination in the workplace. In Hishon v. King & Spalding, for example, a female associate named Betsy Hishon alleged that she was sexually discriminated when she was not promoted as a partner by King & Spalding.

During the hiring process, Hishon was allegedly represented by the firm that she could expect for partnership at the end of five to six year-apprenticeship. The Court agreed that the definitions of ‘employer’ and ‘employee’ are properly alleged according from the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; but questioned the definition of ‘advancement to partnership’ as ‘term, condition, or privilege’ (Holloway & Leech, 2003).

On the other hand, King & Spalding argued that advancement to partnership was not qualified as a term, condition, or privilege of employment according from Title VII base from three reasons: (1) the change of status alter the role of associate role of Hishon to partner employer, (2) partnership decisions are exempted from scrutiny according from Title VII, and (3) applying partnership admission decisions of Title VII would contravene the constitutional rights of the firm (Solotoff & Kramer, 1994).

In the end, the Court ruled in 1984 that the decisions on advancement to partnership are governed under Title VII. 42 USC & 2000e. It was made without regard to race, sex, religion, or nationality and King & Spalding was subject to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 while Betsy Hishon made a settlement with the firm (Crosby, Stockdale, & Ropp, 2007).

One of the most significant enactments by the U. S. Congress in the 20th century is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which had undergone a series of continuous debate, particularly on the public segregation of the Black Americans in South America. During the presidency of Eisenhower until 1961 followed by Kennedy, there are still issues in racial disputes in the South between the Black demonstrators and the White segregationists resulting to murder, injury, and official violence.

The implementation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 resulted to increase in violence; nevertheless, Blacks were given rights to argue for equal treatment (Loevy, Humphrey, & Stewart, 1997). The most important provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are written in the Title VII which deals particularly with employment discrimination, such that ‘employment practice based on disparate impact on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, or national origin’ is considered unlawful (Gerards, Heringa, & Janseen, 2005).