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Anti-Discrimination Laws

Overview of the pertinent laws

Federal Laws

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (29 U.S.C. §§ 621, et. seq.) prohibits discrimination in employment against individuals over age 40. (Note: Montana state law prohibits discrimination based on any age distinction).

Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et. seq.) prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of disability.

Civil Rights Act of 1871 (42 U.S.C. § 1983) provides protection against violating federal or constitutional rights by persons acting under color of state law.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d, et. seq.) prohibits recipients of federal funds from discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Equal Opportunity Act of 1972 (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et. seq.) prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.

Civil Rights Act of 1991 (42 U.S.C. § 1981) expands the scope of relevant civil rights statutes to provide adequate protection to victims of discrimination, and provides appropriate remedies for intentional discrimination and unlawful harassment in the workplace.

Equal Pay Act of 1963 (29 U.S.C. §§ 206(d)) prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions.

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 clarifies that the laws against pay discrimination apply to every paycheck or other compensation a worker receives.

Executive Order 11246, as amended, forbids employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin by federal contractors and subcontractors and requires them to develop affirmative action plans and to take positive steps to eliminate employment bias.

Family Medical Leave Act (29 U.S.C. §§ 2601, et. seq.) requires affirmative duties to provide medical leave to employees.

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et. seq.) prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs or activities that receive federal funds.

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (38 U.S.C. §§ 4301, et. seq.) protects the employment rights of and members of the United States military forces.

Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. §§ 791, et. seq.) requires federal contractors to take affirmative action to employ and promote qualified disabled persons (Section 503) and prohibits discrimination against disabled persons in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance (Section 504).

Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (38 U.S.C. § 4212) as amended requires employers to take affirmative action to employ and advance disabled veterans and qualified veterans of the Vietnam era.

State Laws

Montana Human Rights Act (Mont. Code Ann. §§ 49-2-301, et. seq.) prohibits discrimination based on race, creed, religion, color, or national origin or because of age, physical or mental disability, marital status, pregnancy, or sex.

Governmental Code of Fair Practices (Mont. Code Ann. §§ 49-3-201, et. seq.) prohibits governmental agencies from discriminating based on race, creed, color, sex, disability, age, marital status, familial status, national origin, and political beliefs and ideas.

Wrongful Discharge From Employment Act (Mont. Code Ann. §§ 39-2-901, et. seq.) prohibits discharge from employment without “good cause.”

Montana Constitution of 1972, Article X, Sec. 1 provides: “The state recognizes the distinct and unique cultural heritage of the American Indians and is committed in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural integrity.”

Montana Code Annotated § 20-1-501 provides: “every educational agency and all educational personnel will work cooperatively with Montana tribes or those tribes that are in close proximity, when providing instruction or when implementing an educational goal or adopting a rule related to the education of each Montana citizen, to include information specific to the cultural heritage and contemporary contributions of American Indians, with particular emphasis on Montana Indian tribal groups and governments.”

Montana Military Service Employment Rights Act of 2005 (Mont. Code Ann. §§ 10-1-1005, et. seq.) protects employment rights of Montana National Guard members and members of the United States military.

Veterans’ Preference in Employment (Mont. Code Ann. §§ 39-29-101, et. seq.) provision in the Montana Code Annotated provides that the University must give a preference in employment to a disabled veteran, eligible relative, or veteran, in that order, over any nonpreferred applicant holding substantially equal qualifications.

Montana Code Annotated § 49-4-101 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of disability.

Montana Maternity Leave Act (Mont. Code Ann. §§ 49-2-310, 311) prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy and requires employers to provide a reasonable leave of absence for pregnancy.

Montana Code Annotated § 39-2-215 requires public employers to provide a private place and reasonable breaks to allow women to breastfeed or express milk and prohibits discrimination against them for such activity.

Montana Code Annotated § 49-2-307 prohibits educational institutions from discriminating on the basis of race, creed, religion, sex, marital status, color, age, physical disability, or national origin or because of mental disability.