1776 Declaration of Independence – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

13th Amendmentin 1865 – abolished slavery, but did not give blacks equality.

Civil Rights Actof 1866 – “all persons shall have the same rights…to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws…”

14th Amendmentof 1868 – “All persons born or naturalized in the US…are citizens…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person…the equal protection of the laws.”

19th Amendmentin 1920 – “The rights of citizens…to vote shall not be denied or abridged…on account of sex.”

Equal Pay Actof 1963 – prohibits sex-based pay differentials on jobs.

Civil Rights Actof 1964 – Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, or religion. Title VI prohibits public access discrimination, leading to school desegregation. Title VIII is the original “federal fair housing law,” later amended in 1988.

1965 Executive Order 11246 – affirmative action requirements of government contractors and subcontractors.

1967 ADEA prohibits age discrimination – for 40-65 year olds, amended in 1986 to remove the 65 year old age cap.

Architectural Barriers Actof 1968 – requires accessibility for disabled in buildings and facilities financed with federal funds.

§504 of the Rehab Actof 1973 – bars federal contractors or subcontractors from employment discrimination on the basis of disability.

Fair Housing Amendments Actof 1988 – disabled access required for multi-family housing intended for first occupancy after March 13, 1991.

Air Carriers Access Actof 1989 – disabled access required in construction of terminal facilities owned or operated by an air carrier.

1990 Americans with Disabilities Act – Title I prohibits disability discrimination by employers. Titles II and III require disability access in all places of public accommodation and business for first occupancy after January 26, 1993 or for occupancy for new alterations, and all state and local government facilities, after January 26, 1992.

Civil Rights Actof 1991 – adds provisions to Title VII protections, including right to jury trial.