Equal opportunity is the law of the land that applies to employment activities in both the Federal and private sectors. It is fair to say that EEO and civil rights began with the Constitution and Bill of Rights; however, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights did not mention employment discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 had the greatest impact on employment by providing protection and enforcement under the law against discrimination.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal for any employer to deny anyone a job because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Title VII also prohibited discrimination in firing, promoting, training, salary, and all other privileges of employment. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC was given the responsibility to investigate EEO complaints and to attempt to resolve those complaints through conciliation and mediation.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that no person in the United States shall, on the "grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."