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Civil Rights Glossary

Unconstitutional
A law or act is “unconstitutional” if it violates the United States Constitution.  For example, a law forbidding Catholic or Mormon people from gathering and worshipping would violate the freedom of religion and the freedom of assembly provisions of the first amendment to the Constitution.  Therefore, that law would be unconstitutional. 

Retaliatory
If an individual or company retaliates, they are said to be revengeful, meaning something unpleasant is done to someone as a punishment for doing something.  Retaliatory firings are illegal when someone complains about being discriminated against.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII.)  The EEOC’s mandate is to enforce the anti-discrimination employment provisions in the Civil Rights Act, Equal Pay Act, Age Discrimination Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The EEOC fights discrimination by private employers.

Reverse Discrimination Critics of affirmative action argue that affirmative action programs discriminate against white males by favoring less qualified minorities and/or women.

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