This section of the Plan provides a brief synopsis of the
primary equal employment opportunity statutes, regulations,
and executive orders. For more information on these laws,
please contact the Affirmative Action Office.
Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
Title VII is the most far-reaching federal law on employment
discrimination. Title VII prohibits all discrimination in
employment because of race, color, sex, national origin,
or religion. Title VII provides for an administrative and
judicial enforcement scheme. The Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission is the federal agency responsible for investigating
an employee's claim of discrimination under Title VII. The
federal courts have final responsibility for enforcing Title
Age Discrimination in Employment
Act of 1967 (ADEA)
The ADEA prohibits discrimination against applicants or
employees who are 40 years and older. A limited exemption
applies to bona fide executives and high policy-making employees
as they are defined in the ADEA. The ADEA provides for a
similar enforcement scheme as Tile VII.
Equal Pay Act of 1963
The Equal Pay Act prohibits wage discrimination based on
sex where the employees in question are performing work
requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which
are performed under similar working conditions. The Equal
Pay Act also contains four exceptions to the equal pay for
equal work requirement. The Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission is responsible for administering this law. Unlike
Title VII and the ADEA, however, the filing of a charge
with the Commission is not a prerequisite to filing suit
under the Equal Pay Act.
Civil Rights Act of 1866
Section 1981 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race
or color in the making and enforcement of employment contracts.
Unlike other anti-discrimination statutes, Section 1981
does not cover sex, age, religion, handicap, or other claims
of discrimination. Enforcement of Section 1981 is limited
Rehabilitation Act Of 1973
This law prohibits discrimination against physically or
mentally handicapped persons by federal contractors and
requires that such contractors establish a separate affirmative
action program to employ, qualified handicapped individuals.
Another section of this law prohibits employers receiving
federal grants or funding from discriminating against employees
because of their handicap. The Department of Labor's Office
of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is the designated
The Vietnam Era Veterans
Readjustment Assistance Act
This law prohibits discrimination against disabled veterans
and veterans of the Vietnam era. This law requires federal
contractors to undertake affirmative action measures on
behalf of qualified veterans of the Vietnam era during the
first four years after discharge, and qualified disabled
veterans throughout their working life. The Department of
Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is
also responsible for administering this law.
Immigration Reform and
Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)
The IRCA requires all employers to verify that all employees
hired after November 6, 1986 are legally authorized to work
in the United States. The IRCA also prohibits employers
of four or more employees from discriminating on the basis
of national origin or citizenship. The Department of Justice
is responsible for enforcing the IRCA.
Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990 (ADA)
The ADA prohibits handicap discrimination in employment
in a broader sense than the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The ADA becomes effective in July 1992 for employers with
25 or more employees, and in July 1994 for employers with
15 or more employees. The ADA will be enforced by the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission.
Executive Order 11,246
Executive Order 11,246 prohibits certain federal contractors
from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion,
sex or national origin. This order also requires that covered
contractors develop a written affirmative action program
to employ and encourage the advancement of women and racial
minorities. This order is enforced by the Department of
Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
This office has issued regulations which, among other things,
specify the contents of affirmative action programs, and
what federal contractors can expect in a compliance review.
Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Law, G.L.
This law prohibits employment practices that discriminate
on the basis of race, color, religious creed, national origin,
age, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, or disability. Under
this statute, the prohibition against sex discrimination
includes sexual harassment. This statute covers employers
with six or more employees. The Massachusetts Commission
Against Discrimination is the state agency responsible for
enforcing this law.
Massachusetts Age Discrimination
Law, G.L. c.149, §24A
Massachusetts also has a separate age discrimination law
that covers all private sector employers and prohibits employment
practices that discriminate against individuals over the
age of 40. This law is enforced by the Department of Labor
Massachusetts Equal Pay
Law, G.L. c.149, §105A
This law prohibits employers from paying female employees
less than male employees for work of like or comparable
character or from discriminating in any other way in the
payment of wages on the basis of sex, unless such differences
are based on seniority. The Department of Labor and Industries
is the state agency responsible for administering this law.
Massachusetts Equal Rights
Law, G.L. c.93, §102
This law provides that "[a]ll persons within the Commonwealth,
regardless of sex, race, color, creed or national origin,
shall have, except as otherwise provided or permitted by
law, the same rights enjoyed by white male citizens, to
make and enforce contracts . . . " An individual who believes
his/her rights under this statute have been violated may
sue for "injunctive and other appropriate equitable relief."
Governor's Code of Fair
Practices - Executive Order 227
This order reaffirms that non-discrimination and equal
employment opportunity are the policies of the state. The
order further directs each Executive Officer serving the
Governor and all other state employers to take affirmative
steps to ensure equality of opportunity in all programs
and activities of the Commonwealth.