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United States—Public Policy

by Chantel Sheaks and Michelle Wong

November 2009—In the United States most employee rights, particularly related to quality of employment, come from public policies, which provide mandates and benefits to employees that ensure standards in employment.

A culture of respect, inclusion & equity has been achieved for employees in the US through federal laws regarding employment discrimination:

  • Title V11 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The law applies to both private and public sector employers with 15 or more employees.
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discrimination based on age. In 1967 the United States was one of the first countries to recognize age discrimination.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act, enacted in 1990, prohibits discrimination based on disability and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles an employee to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave per year for the care of a newborn or newly adopted child; care of a child, parent, or spouse with a serious health condition, or care for oneself due to a serious health condition.

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