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Federal Civil Rights Laws Prohibiting Discrimination in Education

There are several federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education:

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits disability discrimination by public entities, whether or not they receive federal financial assistance. 

Colorado Civil Rights Law Prohibiting Discrimination by a Place of Public Accomodation

Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) (C.R.S. § 24-34-601 et seq) prohibits a place of public accommodation, directly or indirectly, from refusing, withholding from, or denying to an individual or a group the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, of the public accommodation based on that person or groups' protected class. Places of public accommodation are also prohibited from publishing, circulating, issuing, displaying, posting, or mailing any discriminatory advertisement. 

To ensure that persons with disability are allowed the opportunity for the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations being offered, a place of public accommodation may need to make reasonable accommodations in its policies, procedures, or practices and/or ensure accessibility. 

Places of public accommodation are also prohibited from retaliating against any person who has engaged in a protected activity - e.g., making a complaint of discrimination or requesting a reasonable accommodation. 

Federal Civil Rights Law Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
This law makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law also requires that employers reasonably accommodate applicants' and employees' sincerely held religious practices, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business.

  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
    This law amended Title VII to make it illegal to discriminate against a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA)
This law makes it illegal to pay different wages to men and women if they perform equal work in the same workplace. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
This law protects people who are 40 or older from discrimination because of age. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
This law makes it illegal to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability in the private sector and in state and local governments. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law also requires that employers reasonably accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business.

Sections 102 and 103 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991
Among other things, this law amends Title VII and the ADA to permit jury trials and compensatory and punitive damage awards in intentional discrimination cases.

Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
This law makes it illegal to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability in the federal government. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law also requires that employers reasonably accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

Colorado Civil Rights Laws Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace

CADA (C.R.S. § 24-34-401 et seq), as amended by the CROWN Act and the Sexual Orientation Employment Discrimination Act (SOEDA), prohibits discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation, religion, disability, race (including hair texture, hair type, and or a protective hairstyle commonly or historically associated with race), creed, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry. The statute makes it illegal for Colorado employers “to refuse to hire, to discharge, to promote or demote, to harass during the course of employment, or to discriminate in matters of compensation against” any member of the protected classes listed above. CADA is Colorado’s version of the federal Civil Rights Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the ADA all rolled into one. But unlike the federal anti-discrimination laws, which cover only employers with 15 or more employees, Colorado’s civil rights statute covers all employers regardless of size.

Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (C.R.S. § 8-5-101 et seq.) applies to all employers in the state, shares similarities with other enhanced state equal pay laws, including provisions on pay equity, pay history, and pay transparency. Unlike other states, however, the Colorado Act creates new notice requirements around promotional opportunities and position wage rates.

Colorado Community College System (CCCS) Policies and Procedures


Board Policy 19-60

 Prohibition of Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation

(Effective August 12, 2020)

Colorado Community College System (CCCS) Board Policy (BP) 19-60 provides that individuals affiliated with CCCS shall not discriminate or harass on the basis of sex, gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, familial status, veteran or military status, pregnancy status, religion, genetic information, gender identity,  sexual orientation, or any other protected class or category under applicable local, state or federal law (also known as “civil rights laws”), in connection with employment practices or educational programs and activities (including in admissions).

BP 19-60 further provides that individuals affiliated with CCCS shall not retaliate against any person who opposes discrimination, harassment or retaliation, or participates in any complaint or investigation process.

System Procedure 19-60

Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct Resolution Process

(Effective August 12, 2020)​​​​​​​

CCCS System Procedure (SP) 19-60 details the reporting requirements, process by which investigations are conducted depending on the type of case, definitions of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and sexual misconduct, PPCC's responsibility in the processes, the rights of involved parties, and procedures for live hearings in cases involving sexual misconduct allegations arising from conduct within the United States.


For allegations arising out of incidents that auccrred before August 12, 2020, the following CCCS policies will apply in place of SP 19-60:

Prohibition of Discrimination or HarassmentBP 3-120 and BP 4-120 provide that employees and students shall not be subjected to unlawful discrimination and/or harassment on the basis of sex/gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion or sexual orientation in employment conditions or educational programs or activities.

​​​​​Civil Rights Greivance and Investigation Pocess: SP 3-50b and SP 4-31a as well as provide the definitions of discrimination and harassment, reporting requirements, and the process by which a formal investigation is conducted.

Sexual Misconduct ProceduresSP 3-120a and SP 4-120a provide the definition of sexual misconduct, the College's responsibility, and reporting requirements.