42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2 : US Code - Section 2000E-2: Unlawful employment practices

    (a) Employer practices
      It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer - 
        (1) 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; or
        (2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or
      applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend
      to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or
      otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of
      such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
    (b) Employment agency practices
      It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employment
    agency to fail or refuse to refer for employment, or otherwise to
    discriminate against, any individual because of his race, color,
    religion, sex, or national origin, or to classify or refer for
    employment any individual on the basis of his race, color,
    religion, sex, or national origin.
    (c) Labor organization practices
      It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a labor
    organization - 
        (1) to exclude or to expel from its membership, or otherwise to
      discriminate against, any individual because of his race, color,
      religion, sex, or national origin;
        (2) to limit, segregate, or classify its membership or
      applicants for membership, or to classify or fail or refuse to
      refer for employment any individual, in any way which would
      deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment
      opportunities, or would limit such employment opportunities or
      otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee or as an
      applicant for employment, because of such individual's race,
      color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
        (3) to cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate
      against an individual in violation of this section.
    (d) Training programs
      It shall be an unlawful employment practice for any employer,
    labor organization, or joint labor-management committee controlling
    apprenticeship or other training or retraining, including on-the-
    job training programs to discriminate against any individual
    because of his race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in
    admission to, or employment in, any program established to provide
    apprenticeship or other training.
    (e) Businesses or enterprises with personnel qualified on basis of
      religion, sex, or national origin; educational institutions with
      personnel of particular religion
      Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, (1) it
    shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to
    hire and employ employees, for an employment agency to classify, or
    refer for employment any individual, for a labor organization to
    classify its membership or to classify or refer for employment any
    individual, or for an employer, labor organization, or joint labor-
    management committee controlling apprenticeship or other training
    or retraining programs to admit or employ any individual in any
    such program, on the basis of his religion, sex, or national origin
    in those certain instances where religion, sex, or national origin
    is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to
    the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise, and
    (2) it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for a school,
    college, university, or other educational institution or
    institution of learning to hire and employ employees of a
    particular religion if such school, college, university, or other
    educational institution or institution of learning is, in whole or
    in substantial part, owned, supported, controlled, or managed by a
    particular religion or by a particular religious corporation,
    association, or society, or if the curriculum of such school,
    college, university, or other educational institution or
    institution of learning is directed toward the propagation of a
    particular religion.
    (f) Members of Communist Party or Communist-action or Communist-
      front organizations
      As used in this subchapter, the phrase "unlawful employment
    practice" shall not be deemed to include any action or measure
    taken by an employer, labor organization, joint labor-management
    committee, or employment agency with respect to an individual who
    is a member of the Communist Party of the United States or of any
    other organization required to register as a Communist-action or
    Communist-front organization by final order of the Subversive
    Activities Control Board pursuant to the Subversive Activities
    Control Act of 1950 [50 U.S.C. 781 et seq.].
    (g) National security
      Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, it shall
    not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or
    refuse to hire and employ any individual for any position, for an
    employer to discharge any individual from any position, or for an
    employment agency to fail or refuse to refer any individual for
    employment in any position, or for a labor organization to fail or
    refuse to refer any individual for employment in any position, if -
    
        (1) the occupancy of such position, or access to the premises
      in or upon which any part of the duties of such position is
      performed or is to be performed, is subject to any requirement
      imposed in the interest of the national security of the United
      States under any security program in effect pursuant to or
      administered under any statute of the United States or any
      Executive order of the President; and
        (2) such individual has not fulfilled or has ceased to fulfill
      that requirement.
    (h) Seniority or merit system; quantity or quality of production;
      ability tests; compensation based on sex and authorized by
      minimum wage provisions
      Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, it shall
    not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to apply
    different standards of compensation, or different terms,
    conditions, or privileges of employment pursuant to a bona fide
    seniority or merit system, or a system which measures earnings by
    quantity or quality of production or to employees who work in
    different locations, provided that such differences are not the
    result of an intention to discriminate because of race, color,
    religion, sex, or national origin, nor shall it be an unlawful
    employment practice for an employer to give and to act upon the
    results of any professionally developed ability test provided that
    such test, its administration or action upon the results is not
    designed, intended or used to discriminate because of race, color,
    religion, sex or national origin. It shall not be an unlawful
    employment practice under this subchapter for any employer to
    differentiate upon the basis of sex in determining the amount of
    the wages or compensation paid or to be paid to employees of such
    employer if such differentiation is authorized by the provisions of
    section 206(d) of title 29.
    (i) Businesses or enterprises extending preferential treatment to
      Indians
      Nothing contained in this subchapter shall apply to any business
    or enterprise on or near an Indian reservation with respect to any
    publicly announced employment practice of such business or
    enterprise under which a preferential treatment is given to any
    individual because he is an Indian living on or near a reservation.
    (j) Preferential treatment not to be granted on account of existing
      number or percentage imbalance
      Nothing contained in this subchapter shall be interpreted to
    require any employer, employment agency, labor organization, or
    joint labor-management committee subject to this subchapter to
    grant preferential treatment to any individual or to any group
    because of the race, color, religion, sex, or national origin of
    such individual or group on account of an imbalance which may exist
    with respect to the total number or percentage of persons of any
    race, color, religion, sex, or national origin employed by any
    employer, referred or classified for employment by any employment
    agency or labor organization, admitted to membership or classified
    by any labor organization, or admitted to, or employed in, any
    apprenticeship or other training program, in comparison with the
    total number or percentage of persons of such race, color,
    religion, sex, or national origin in any community, State, section,
    or other area, or in the available work force in any community,
    State, section, or other area.
    (k) Burden of proof in disparate impact cases
      (1)(A) An unlawful employment practice based on disparate impact
    is established under this subchapter only if - 
        (i) a complaining party demonstrates that a respondent uses a
      particular employment practice that causes a disparate impact on
      the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and
      the respondent fails to demonstrate that the challenged practice
      is job related for the position in question and consistent with
      business necessity; or
        (ii) the complaining party makes the demonstration described in
      subparagraph (C) with respect to an alternative employment
      practice and the respondent refuses to adopt such alternative
      employment practice.

      (B)(i) With respect to demonstrating that a particular employment
    practice causes a disparate impact as described in subparagraph
    (A)(i), the complaining party shall demonstrate that each
    particular challenged employment practice causes a disparate
    impact, except that if the complaining party can demonstrate to the
    court that the elements of a respondent's decisionmaking process
    are not capable of separation for analysis, the decisionmaking
    process may be analyzed as one employment practice.
      (ii) If the respondent demonstrates that a specific employment
    practice does not cause the disparate impact, the respondent shall
    not be required to demonstrate that such practice is required by
    business necessity.
      (C) The demonstration referred to by subparagraph (A)(ii) shall
    be in accordance with the law as it existed on June 4, 1989, with
    respect to the concept of "alternative employment practice".
      (2) A demonstration that an employment practice is required by
    business necessity may not be used as a defense against a claim of
    intentional discrimination under this subchapter.
      (3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, a
    rule barring the employment of an individual who currently and
    knowingly uses or possesses a controlled substance, as defined in
    schedules I and II of section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances
    Act (21 U.S.C. 802(6)), other than the use or possession of a drug
    taken under the supervision of a licensed health care professional,
    or any other use or possession authorized by the Controlled
    Substances Act [21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.] or any other provision of
    Federal law, shall be considered an unlawful employment practice
    under this subchapter only if such rule is adopted or applied with
    an intent to discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex, or
    national origin.
    (l) Prohibition of discriminatory use of test scores
      It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a respondent, in
    connection with the selection or referral of applicants or
    candidates for employment or promotion, to adjust the scores of,
    use different cutoff scores for, or otherwise alter the results of,
    employment related tests on the basis of race, color, religion,
    sex, or national origin.
    (m) Impermissible consideration of race, color, religion, sex, or
      national origin in employment practices
      Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, an unlawful
    employment practice is established when the complaining party
    demonstrates that race, color, religion, sex, or national origin
    was a motivating factor for any employment practice, even though
    other factors also motivated the practice.
    (n) Resolution of challenges to employment practices implementing
      litigated or consent judgments or orders
      (1)(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and except as
    provided in paragraph (2), an employment practice that implements
    and is within the scope of a litigated or consent judgment or order
    that resolves a claim of employment discrimination under the
    Constitution or Federal civil rights laws may not be challenged
    under the circumstances described in subparagraph (B).
      (B) A practice described in subparagraph (A) may not be
    challenged in a claim under the Constitution or Federal civil
    rights laws - 
        (i) by a person who, prior to the entry of the judgment or
      order described in subparagraph (A), had - 
          (I) actual notice of the proposed judgment or order
        sufficient to apprise such person that such judgment or order
        might adversely affect the interests and legal rights of such
        person and that an opportunity was available to present
        objections to such judgment or order by a future date certain;
        and
          (II) a reasonable opportunity to present objections to such
        judgment or order; or

        (ii) by a person whose interests were adequately represented by
      another person who had previously challenged the judgment or
      order on the same legal grounds and with a similar factual
      situation, unless there has been an intervening change in law or
      fact.

      (2) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to - 
        (A) alter the standards for intervention under rule 24 of the
      Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or apply to the rights of
      parties who have successfully intervened pursuant to such rule in
      the proceeding in which the parties intervened;
        (B) apply to the rights of parties to the action in which a
      litigated or consent judgment or order was entered, or of members
      of a class represented or sought to be represented in such
      action, or of members of a group on whose behalf relief was
      sought in such action by the Federal Government;
        (C) prevent challenges to a litigated or consent judgment or
      order on the ground that such judgment or order was obtained
      through collusion or fraud, or is transparently invalid or was
      entered by a court lacking subject matter jurisdiction; or
        (D) authorize or permit the denial to any person of the due
      process of law required by the Constitution.

      (3) Any action not precluded under this subsection that
    challenges an employment consent judgment or order described in
    paragraph (1) shall be brought in the court, and if possible before
    the judge, that entered such judgment or order. Nothing in this
    subsection shall preclude a transfer of such action pursuant to
    section 1404 of title 28.