Some studies have found declining gaps in earnings by race as access to high quality education has improved and anti-discrimination and affirmative action policies have been implemented. This section needs additional citations for verification. The United States Constitution does not directly address employment discrimination, but its sex discrimination and employment on discrimination by the federal government have been held to protect federal government employees.
The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution limit the power of the federal and state governments to discriminate. Employment discrimination or harassment in the private sector is not unconstitutional because Federal and most State Constitutions do not expressly give their respective government the power to enact civil rights laws that apply to the private sector. The Federal government’s authority to regulate a private business, including civil rights laws, stems from their power to regulate all commerce between the States. Absent of a provision in a State Constitution, State civil rights laws that regulate the private sector are generally Constitutional under the “police powers” doctrine or the power of a State to enact laws designed to protect public health, safety and morals. For example, some State civil rights laws offer protection from employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or political affiliation, even though such forms of discrimination are not yet covered in federal civil rights laws. Federal law governing employment discrimination has developed over time.