Civil Rights Act of 1964

Also known as: Title VII

Lyndon B. Johnson

Signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson
July 02, 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation that outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by public accommodations. Title VII of the Act prohibits discrimination by covered employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Enforcement & Remedies

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the first step in enforcing Title VII. An employee who believes that he or she has been discriminated against in violation of Title VII must first pursue his or her claims with the EEOC. After pursuing a Title VII claim with the EEOC, the employee may file a civil lawsuit against the employer. Remedies available to an employee who is discriminated against in violation of the Title VII include back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. Title VII sets caps on the amount of compensatory and punitive damages which vary by the size of the employer.