Small Businesses and Equal Employment
by Jennifer Bonds, State Training Coordinator
All small businesses must comply with employment regulations. It is the responsibility of the small business owner to have a full understanding of employment regulations that affect his or her business. Small businesses have a great resource on the web at www.eeoc.gov. This is the website of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which regulates equal employment laws. All small businesses should be familiar with the following federal laws prohibiting job discrimination:
• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits race, color, religion, sex, and national origin discrimination. Title VII applies to employers with fifteen (15) or more employees.
• Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination against individuals who are forty (40) years of age or older. The ADEA applies to employers with twenty (20) or more employees.
• Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. The ADA applies to employers with fifteen (15) or more employees.
• Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) prohibits wage discrimination between men and women in substantially equal jobs within the same establishment. The EPA applies to most employers with one or more employees.
These laws prohibit employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, and prohibit retaliation for opposing job discrimination, filing a charge, or participating in proceedings under these laws. Please log onto www.eeoc.gov for more information.
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