Is Title VII the only federal statute that prohibits racial discrimination in employment?

No. § 1981 of the 1866 Civil Rights Act provides that all persons are entitled “to make and enforce contracts…and to full and equal benefits of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as enjoyed by white citizens.”  Although the statute was initially enacted to protect the rights of freed slaves to enter into contracts, courts in the modern era have interpreted this Act to apply to contracts of employment to prevent intentional race discrimination in the workplace.  As such, there is significant overlap with Title VII; however, there are important differences.  Namely: (1) plaintiffs need not file an EEOC charge before bringing a § 1981 claim; (2) Title VII’s damages caps do not apply to § 1981 claims; and (3) longer statutes of limitation may apply to § 1981 claims.  Considering all this, claims brought under § 1981 are easier to bring and expose employers to liability above damages available under Title VII. 

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The information herein is not legal advice. The information is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter discussed.  The above is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.