The Lost Origins of Fair Employment Law: Regulatory Choice and the Making of Modern Civil Rights, 1943-1972
By the time Congress enacted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, roughly two dozen states had already passed fully enforceable employment discrimination laws and engaged in nearly two decades worth of enforcement efforts. But this early state-level scheme was very different from what most lawyers know as Title VII. Title VII vests primary enforcement authority in the federal courts. By contrast, beginning in the mid-1940s, civil rights groups championed, and states enacted, employment discrimination laws that vested exclusive enforcement authority in administrative agencies.