There are many important moments in American history as it pertains to civil rights. In the context of U.S. labor law history, there are two events that stand out: the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1966 California farm worker’s strike.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a long time coming, and the evolution of changing society over the course of hundreds of years. It provides legal rights and protections to United States workers, the likes of which were completely foreign to laborers a hundred years ago. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, U.S. workers are protected from employment-related discrimination related to pay, hiring, firing, promotions and how workers are treated at their workplaces. Specifically, Title VII protects employees from discriminatory acts and harassment on the basis of national origin, sex, religion, color and race.
Another important event in U.S. history helped solidify legal protections for U.S. workers. In 1962, Cesar Chavez organized California grape farmers into a union. The primarily Hispanic farm workers who made up the union were earning approximately $2,000 annually at the time. In 1965, the workers banded together in the movement called “La Causa” and went on strike. In 1966, they carried out a 250-mile march to bring more notice to the difficult conditions endured by farm workers. The nonviolent protest continued for three years.
If you feel like you’re being treated unfairly at work, it could be that your employee rights are being violated. Workers facing unfair or difficult conditions should discuss their cases immediately with a qualified New York employment law attorney to determine what can be done to improve their situations.