Employment Discrimination/Introduction

Employment discrimination has become one of the most prominent areas of modern litigation. Businesses are sued more often by their employees than by any other category of litigant—more than by competitors, customers or regulators. The great majority of those lawsuits by employees involve the accusation of employment discrimination. The threat of employment discrimination lawsuits has changed the nature of the employment relationship and caused employers to implement safeguards, procedures and technicalities they would have never considered fifty years ago. Further, discrimination has entered the popular consciousness as a legal concept much more successfully than many older (and, in daily life, arguably more important) legal concepts or categories. Employment discrimination is a representative case of how common law concepts can be revolutionized by single statutory enactments. While other laws influenced the development of employment discrimination, it is largely Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that began the sweeping changes in business and public attitude.