Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits employers of 15 or more employees from discriminating on the basis of race or color. Title VII prohibits employers from discrimination in regard to hiring, discharge, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment because of race or color. Discrimination includes harassment, segregation, or categorization based on race or color.
Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against an individual for opposing discriminatory acts, or for filing a charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation or proceeding under Title VII.
Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1981) prohibits race discrimination in the making of contracts, including employment. Section 1981 covers all employers, regardless of size. Employees claiming discrimination can enforce their rights by filing a Section 1981 action in court. There is no requirement to file with an administrative agency prior to commencing a lawsuit.
There is more information about federal civil rights laws.
Retaliation. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a jury verdict in favor of an employee who claimed racial harassment and retaliation in violation of Title VII and Section 1981 (Goldsmith v. Bagby Elevator Co., 513 F. 3d 1261 (11th Cir. 2008)). In this case, the court ruled that the employer retaliated against the employee by firing him after he refused to sign an ...