Civil Rights in Employment

Committee Democrats believe that every worker in the U.S. should be able to earn a living free of discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation or national origin. 

Committee Democrats also support the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which plays a critical role in enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, thereby promoting justice and equality in the workplace. The EEOC is uniquely positioned to target systemic discrimination cases, and make revisions to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) forms regarding collecting pay data from employers, including federal contractors, with more than 100 employees. 

Committee Democrats continue to press for statutory workplace nondiscrimination protections for all Americans and the restoration of civil rights protections eroded by the courts, including:

  • The Equality Act (H.R. 3185) would make clear that discrimination against sexual orientation or gender identity is impermissible in employment, education, and other areas;
  • The Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2015 (H.R. 3470) would bring the “Ban the Box” initiative to the federal government and would require federal employers and contractors not to ask about criminal history information until the final stages of the hiring process; and,
  • The Unpaid Intern Protection Act (H.R. 3232) would amend Title VII’s definition of employee to include unpaid interns for the purposes of affording them protection against civil rights violations in the workplace.

Key Legislation:

The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act
Employee Free Choice Act
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
Paycheck Fairness Act
Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act
Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008