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Civil Rights FAQs

I’m hiring a new manager for my business.  What anti-discrimination laws do I need to be aware of?
When hiring your new manager, keep in mind that it is illegal to discriminate against, or treat differently, a job applicant or an employee because of the individual's race, national origin, color, religion, gender (including pregnancy), age (if the applicant is 40 years of age or older), disability, or genetic information.

Is affirmative action legal?
Yes, affirmative action programs and laws are legal and were developed in an attempt to overcome past discriminatory practices against African Americans and women.  In 1977, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights defined affirmative action as "...any measure, beyond simple termination of a discriminatory practice, adopted to correct or compensate for past or present discrimination or to prevent discrimination from recurring in the future."

What is racial profiling?  Does racial profiling still happen today?
Unfortunately, racial profiling is an ongoing issue and is still a problem today.  “Racial profiling” is a law enforcement strategy that singles out minorities as being suspicious, solely on the basis of their appearance or accent.  Today’s controversial immigration laws often support racial profiling.

My children’s school is considering separating girls and boys for math classes.  Is this legal?
The legality of providing separate math classes for girls and boys depends upon the motive for separating the sexes as well as the content of the classes.  The school must provide equal opportunities for both boys and girls; offering a lower level class for girls, just because they’re girls, is not legal.  However, offering separate classes to eliminate discrimination or barriers is legal. 

Can male college athletes receive more scholarship money than female athletes?
Athletic scholarship awards must be based upon the percentage of male to female athletes participating in varsity sports.  If there is an equal number of men and women participating in varsity sports, athletic scholarships for men and women must be equal.  However, if 60% of the varsity athletes are male and 40% are female, the scholarship dollars will also be split 60/40.

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