Title VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000d et seq.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. As President John F. Kennedy said in 1963:
Simple justice requires that public funds, to which all taxpayers of all races [colors, and national origins] contribute, not be spent in any fashion which encourages, entrenches, subsidizes or results in racial [color or national origin] discrimination.
Title VI itself prohibits intentional discrimination. However, most funding agencies have regulations implementing Title VI that prohibit recipient practices that have the effect of discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.
Examples of discriminatory actions on the basis of a protected class which are prohibited:
- (i) Denying a person any service, financial aid, or other benefit provided under the program;
- (ii) Providing any service, financial aid, or other benefit to a person which is different, or is provided in a different manner, from that provided to others under the program;
- (iii) Subjecting a person to segregation or separate treatment in any matter related to his receipt of any service, financial aid, or other benefit under the program;
- (iv) Restricting a person in any way in the enjoyment of any advantage or privilege enjoyed by others receiving any service, financial aid, or other benefit under the program;
- (v) Treating a person differently from others in determining whether he satisfies any admission, enrollment, quota, eligibility, membership, or other requirement or condition which persons must meet in order to be provided any service, financial aid, or other benefit provided under the program;
- (vi) Denying a person an opportunity to participate in the program through the provision of services or otherwise to afford him an opportunity to do so which is different from that afforded others under the program (including the opportunity to participate in the program as a volunteer or as an employee, but only to the extent set forth in paragraph (c) of this section);
- (vii) Denying a person the opportunity to participate as a member of a planning, advisory, or similar body which is an integral part of the program; or
- (viii) Discriminating in the terms and conditions of employment of an applicant on the basis of a protected class.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
What Is Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a national law that protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability. The nondiscrimination requirements of the law apply to employers and organizations that receive financial assistance from any Federal department or agency. Section 504 forbids organizations and employers from excluding or denying individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to receive program benefits and services. It defines the rights of individuals with disabilities to participate in, and have access to, program benefits and services.
Who Is Protected from Discrimination?
Section 504 protects qualified individuals with disabilities. Under this law, individuals with disabilities are defined as persons with a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. People who have a history of, or who are regarded as having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, are also covered. Major life activities include caring for one’s self, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, performing manual tasks, and learning. Some examples of impairments which may substantially limit major life activities, even with the help of medication or aids/devices, are: AIDS, alcoholism, blindness or visual impairment, cancer, deafness or hearing impairment, diabetes, drug addiction, heart disease, and mental illness. In addition to meeting the above definition, for purposes of receiving services, education or training, qualified individuals with disabilities are persons who meet normal and essential eligibility requirements. For purposes of employment, qualified individuals with disabilities are persons who, with reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job for which they have applied or have been hired to perform. (Complaints alleging employment discrimination on the basis of disability against a single individual will be referred to the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for processing.) Reasonable accommodation means an employer is required to take reasonable steps to accommodate your disability unless it would cause the employer undue hardship.
Filing a Complaint
Aggrieved individuals may file administrative complaints with the federal agency that provides funds to a recipient, or the individuals may file suit for appropriate relief in federal court. To file a complaint of discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or disability, write to: U.S. Department of the Treasury, Director, Office of Civil Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20220; call (202) 622-1160; or send an email to email@example.com.