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Employment discrimination laws provide California workers with protection against all types of discrimination, including racial, gender and age. These laws are enacted at the federal level and backed up by the states. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, these laws began to take shape in the 1960s as a response to the civil rights movement.

Most of the early policies and laws were specific to a type of discrimination, such as race or religion. During this time, standards also started to be developed to clearly define what discrimination is. Beyond the amazing steps discrimination laws took to help with equal employment opportunities and a reduction of discrimination based on race, these laws also helped women in the workplace in a major way. Discrimination laws help to open up the door for women into many professions that were once thought to only be available to men.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights & The Leadership Conference Education Fund note that it was Title VII of the Civil Right Act that brought about all these changes. It outlined that discrimination would not be tolerated in any area of employment, from hiring to firing. However, due to court rulings on the Act that had decreased its scope, revisions needed to be made. This was the introduction of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which helped broaden the scope of the law and provide the right to sue for monetary damages in discrimination cases. Today, discrimination of any type for any reason is covered by the country’s discrimination laws to ensure the equal opportunity for all Americans to pursue the career they want.