Federal Laws

Selected Federal Laws and Regulations on Employment Discrimination

Duke is committed to encouraging and sustaining work and learning environments that are free from harassment and prohibited discrimination. Duke prohibits discrimination and harassment in the administration of both its employment and educational policies. Equal employment and educational opportunities are provided without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, or disability. Duke also makes good faith efforts to recruit, hire, and promote qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Duke prohibits discrimination based on sex. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. Duke has designated a director of Title IX compliance in the Office for Institutional Equity as its Title IX coordinator.

The following are selected laws and regulations on employment discrimination. These laws and regulations are listed in the order in which they were enacted.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) was enacted as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, forbidding sex-based wage discrimination in employment.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in any program or activity and against applicants and students on the basis of race, color, and national origin.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against applicants and employees on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, and national origin. The 1978 amendment provides that discrimination because of pregnancy is sex discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 was enacted to provide for jury trials in Title VII cases and to expand the remedies available to plaintiffs under the civil rights laws by providing for compensatory and punitive damages, with statutory caps, under Title VII, the ADA, and the Rehabilitation Act.

Executive Order (EO) 11246 issued in 1965 prohibits discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of race, color, national origin, or religion. Subsequent EOs added handicap and age (1969), and sexual orientation (1998) to the definition of discrimination.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of age against applicants and employees who are forty years of age and older.

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities and extends coverage to employment and admission to institutions receiving federal financial assistance.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects people from discrimination in admission, employment, treatment, or access based on disability in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) requires taking affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain protected veterans and prohibits discrimination against such veterans. VEVRAA requires employment openings be listed with the appropriate employment service delivery system, and that covered veterans receive priority in referral to such openings.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of national origin and citizenship.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) was enacted for the purpose of eliminating discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 expanded the definition of disability to include, among other things, additional major life activities (including major bodily functions) and episodic impairments.

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for medical reasons, for the birth or adoption of a child, and for the care of a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition.

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) ensures that persons who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard, or other uniformed services are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service, are promptly reemployed in their civilian jobs upon their return from duty, and are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present, or future military service.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits discrimination by employers and insurers on the basis of genetic information about potentially inheritable diseases and health conditions.

Final Rule for Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities – 2013: Effective March 24, 2014, OFCCP Final Rules were implemented in regard to recruiting qualified veterans and individuals with disabilities. Rule changes include hiring benchmarks, utilization goals, data collection, records access, self-identification process, Equal Opportunity language in contracts, job listing specifications and changes required by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

Learn More

See the Office for Institutional Equity’s services to help the Duke community understand, implement, and uphold these laws and other diversity and inclusion policies.