More than 200 years ago, concern was expressed about the rights of the individual. The Bill of Rights in the Constitution was designed to protect individual rights. Human differences were recognized and legislation was passed to protect individual rights.Congress passed the first Civil Rights Act on April 9, 1866, granting all citizens of the United States the same rights as previously enjoyed by white citizens by stating:
"All citizens of the United States shall have the same rights, in every State and Territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, leases, sell, hold and convey real and personal property."
The Civil Rights Act of 1875 providing Negroes full equality in the use of theaters, hotels, and public conveyances was later declared unconstitutional. After the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery, Congress introduced and adopted the Fourteenth Amendment containing the famous statement:
"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
The Fifteenth Amendment adopted several years later stated in part:
"The rights of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
As our nation grew and became more complex, an increasing proportion of key decisions were made through the political processes. The law became a very influential part of our lives. The southern states began to enact segregative legislation. In 1896 the court, in the case of Plessy vs. Ferguson (163 U.S. 537), confirmed a Louisiana law requiring racial segregation on common carriers. This ruling held that separate, but equal, accommodations did not violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The "separate but equal" doctrine was extended to cover schools, parks, hotels, places of amusement, restaurants, and all types of transportation facilities. Many legal statutes evolved from this decision; and twenty-nine states enacted legislation covering racial discrimination in places of public accommodation.
In 1957 the first civil rights legislation passed by Congress since the Reconstruction period prohibited action to prevent persons from voting in federal elections. It also created a Civil Rights Commission and set up a Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice. The Civil Rights Act of 1960 strengthened provisions of the 1957 Act for court enforcement of voting rights and required that voting records be preserved. It also contained limited criminal penalty provisions relating to obstruction of federal court orders aimed primarily at school desegregation orders.
On July 2, 1964, Congress passed the basic law which is currently in operation. There are two major provisions of this Act which bear on Cooperative Extension and for which Extension personnel are held accountable. One is Title VI; the other Title VII.
Title VI. Affirmative Action Plan (AAP)
The purpose of this section reads in part:
"No person in the United States shall, on the ground 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."
Title VII. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
This section makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Title IX of this act deals with gender discrimination and while most often referring to school settings, it has equal application to Cooperative Extension. The objective of Title IX is to eliminate and prohibit gender discrimination against participants (beneficiaries) and employees of educational programs and activities receiving or benefitting from Federal funds.
Title IX reads:
"No person in the United States, shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
Section 794 of this Act affects Cooperative Extension since it pertains to program delivery and access to offices and meeting sites. This section provides that:
"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in Section 705 (20) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service."
Also see UA Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
Persons 40 years of age or older are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. The law prohibits age discrimination in hiring, discharge, pay, promotions and other terms and conditions of employment.
Retaliation against a person who files a charge of age discrimination, participates in an investigation or opposes an unlawful practice also is illegal.
The law applies to private employers of 20 or more workers, federal, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor organizations with 25 or more members.
The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) (29 USC 626, Section F) was enacted on October 16, 1990, effective generally on April 15, 1991. There are delayed effective dates for certain collectively bargained plans and certain state and local government employers. OWBPA makes clear that employee benefits and benefit plans are subject to the ADEA. The Act codifies EEOC regulations addressing employee benefits and states that the employer has the burden of proving the lawfulness of certain benefits-related actions. New provisions were enacted affecting early retirement incentive plans and permitting certain offsets against severance payments and long-term disability. Title II of OWBPA sets out minimum criteria that must be satisfied before a waiver of any ADEA right or claim will be considered a "knowing and voluntary" waiver.
Institutions of higher education may involuntarily retire an employee at age 70 who is serving under a contract of unlimited tenure or a similar arrangement.
(The information in this section is from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.)
This legislation enacted 26 July 1990 provides comprehensive civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, public accommodations, State and local government services and telecommunications. Those affecting Extension are:
Title I - Employment
Prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
Title II - Public Services
Subtitle A - Protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in the services, programs, or activities of all state and local governments. It extends the prohibition of discrimination in federally assisted programs established by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to all activities of State and local governments, including those that do not receive Federal financial assistance, and incorporates specific prohibitions of discrimination on the basis of disability from titles I, III, and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
(See also UHAP, Section 2.01.)
If an employee who is a qualified individual with a disability becomes unable to perform the essential functions of his or her present position with any reasonable accommodation, reassignment within the University must be considered. If a funded position is vacant and open for applications within ninety (90) calendar days of a request for reassignment, the employee shall be reassigned into that position so long as all of the following criteria are met, as determined by the University department(s) designated responsible for such reassignments:
The burden of proof of compliance with Civil Rights legislation rests with the Arizona Cooperative Extension as a whole and with faculty, staff, and volunteers as individuals. Careful adherence to compliance requirements and documentation of efforts are a must for all Extension personnel.
Effort will be documented in a manner that reflects the persons contacted, the race, sex, address, date of contact, and response insofar as those data are available. Special forms exist for this purpose.
The above documents are in PDF format and can be printed out to be handwritten or typed or can be completed online and printed out for your records.
The Extension faculty will discontinue assistance to those clubs which remain all of one race, unless it is documented that good faith efforts have been made to recruit individuals of racial groups not represented. County files may be reviewed at any time. County files must include the documentation evidence.
By February 1 of each year each county Extension unit will submit a compliance report to the Affirmative Action Officer (AAO). The report will address the directives in the Compliance Plan and include the following sections:
Within 30 days of submission of this county report, the AAO and Extension administrators will analyze the data and note any areas of noncompliance. Any deficiencies will be reported to the Director of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and immediate steps will be taken to correct deficiencies. A draft report incorporating county submissions and other analyses will be completed, including recommended action plans for the following year, and given to the EEO Oversight Committee for comment. Accomplishments and action plans will be publicized by the Director and distributed to the entire faculty.
In addition, to accurately report on progress in the delivery of program benefits to minority clientele, the Annual Performance Report (APR) will be used to collect data on participation in Extension programs. Each professional and paraprofessional employee will report on an annual basis the contacts by race and sex within each program area (along with other programmatic data).
This report will reflect face-to-face contacts with clientele participating in a significant educational experience. Do not include clientele who may have benefited from information disseminated through mass media. If two or more Extension professionals are at the same meeting, only one of them should report the audience contacts. The person to report is the one in charge of the meeting. This same information must also be filed using the AAP-5 form in APROL (which can be completed and printed prior to submission).
The reporting format to be used by professionals and paraprofessionals is:
Face-to-face contacts made by volunteers supervised by Extension professionals and paraprofessionals must be combined with those of the supervisor and reported annually in the above mentioned format on the APR in APROL. The number of volunteers supervised and their volunteer hours are to be included. The reporting format is:
It is suggested that the Number of Volunteers and the Total Volunteer Hours be recorded on a monthly basis to assure complete and accurate data for the APR.
The Affirmative Action Officer (AAO) will review information concerning each individual employee's contacts and total contact within each county unit on an annual basis for monitoring purposes. The Director will review statewide data on an annual basis to monitor the overall compliance status.
Annual compliance reviews will be completed for each county by the AAO, and on-site visits will be made to one third of all counties each year. Following the completion of all reviews, and after reviewing relevant monitoring data, the Director will provide a summary/status report to all employees. In addition to these regularly scheduled reviews, follow-up reviews will be conducted in those counties where deficiencies are found. Immediately following each review, the AAO will work closely with county faculty to see that deficiencies are corrected.
In addition, to assure compliance with the federal laws addressed by the Compliance Plan, the AAO will review the annual reports submitted by faculty members and deficiencies will be noted and shared with the Director. Deficiencies will be addressed and corrected in a timely manner.
Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the state AAO and other EEO counselors will be provided to new employees. These names are published at least once a year to keep current employees informed. Other complaint procedures are reviewed with faculty periodically, including the normal procedures available to employees of the University of Arizona.
The definition of sexual harassment and the University policy affecting faculty, staff, and students (which extends to Extension clientele) can be found at UHAP, Section 2.16.