Publication Date

2-2010

Abstract

In the wake of new statutes and case law, issues relating to discrimination have expanded in the past twenty-five years to absorb a substantial amount of management time and attention. The basic law of discrimination is the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which created specific protect classes. That law was revised and expanded in 1991, and other causes of discrimination were added by such laws as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Supreme Court decisions have clarified and expanded certain aspects of the laws, notably the definition of sexual harassment. Perhaps the fastest-growing complaint involves retaliation, in which employees seek to claim that unwanted employer actions result from some aspect of a civil rights complaint. While considerable confusion remains over certain aspects of discrimination law, employers should make every effort to properly instruct their supervisors and follow court-outlined procedures.

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© Cornell University. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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