Selected Laws & Regulations

Federal Laws

  • Civil Rights Act of 1866 (Section 1981)

    This law, based upon the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution (Abolition of slavery/involuntary servitude), provides basically that "All persons…shall have the same right…to make and enforce contracts, to sue, to be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens…." This law covers racial/ethnic discrimination in private contractual relationships such as employment.

  • The 1964 Civil Rights Act

    This law covers many subjects, including public accommodations and services, in addition to employment discrimination. Title VI prohibits discrimination by entities receiving financial assistance. Title VII prohibits discrimination by employers, labor organizations and employment agencies on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, and national origin. Title VII also requires that private employers of 100 or more workers file an EEO report (EEO6/IPEDS for institutions of higher education) biennially.

  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA)

    This law prohibits sex discrimination in wages between employees performing equal work, and it is an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. It covers nearly all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, regardless of race.

  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973

    This law covers only the federal government, contractors with the federal government, and recipients of federal financial assistance. Its prohibitions and remedies for disability discrimination and reasonable accommodation, and various procedural provisions, vary from section to section. The body of legal standards and interpretations developed under the Rehabilitation Act has been incorporated into the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974

    This law deals with the rights of Vietnam Era (September, 1964 through May, 1975) military service veterans, in terms of nondiscrimination by employers and preferential employment policies by the federal government.

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

    In addition to public accommodations, government services, telecommunications, and other such areas, this law in effect extends the substantive nondiscrimination and reasonable accommodations requirements of the Rehabilitation Act to private employers, unions and employment agencies generally.

  • The Civil Rights Act of 1991

    This law basically served to amend various federal discrimination laws. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972: This law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex by entities receiving federal financial assistance.

Federal Executive Orders

  • E.O. 11246 (1965)

    This provides that all federal contracts of a certain amount must contain provisions prohibiting discrimination on the bases of race, color, religion, or national origin. This Executive Order requires both equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. Federal contractors are required to develop, and annually update, an Affirmative Action Plan, which includes goals and timetables for the increased utilization of minorities and women. In addition, firms having non-construction government contracts must keep and make available records of work force analyses prepared separately for minorities and women for use in compliance reviews of their Affirmative Action Plans.

  • E.O. 11375 (1967)

    This added sex discrimination provisions to tE.O.11246 sectgions 202 and 203.

  • E.O. 11141 (1964)

    This provides for nondiscrimination on the basis of age as a contractual requirement.

  • E.O. 11758 (1974)

    This provides for federal contracts to contain provisions requiring federal contractors to foster the employment of qualified handicapped persons.

State & Local

  • Pennsylvania Human Relations Act

    The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act states that it is the policy of the Commonwealth to "foster the employment of all individuals in accordance with their fullest capacities regardless of their race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, handicap or disability, use of guide or support animals because of the blindness, deafness or physical handicap of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer of support or guide animals, and to safeguard their right to obtain and hold employment without such discrimination, to assure equal opportunities to all individuals and to safeguard their rights to public accommodations and to secure housing accommodation and commercial property regardless of race, color, familial status, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, handicap or disability, use of guide or support animals because of blindness or deafness of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer of guide or support animals."

  • Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act
    The act states that it is the policy of the Commonwealth "that all persons shall have equal opportunities for education regardless of their race, religion, color, ancestry, national origin, sex, handicap or disability."
  • Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinances (PDF)
    This ordinance states that no employer in the City of Philadelphia shall discriminate against any employee or applicant in the terms or conditions of employment on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, or handicap.