42 U.S.C. § 1981

42 United States Code Section 1981 ("Section 1981") protects the equal right of “all persons” to “make and enforce contracts” without respect to race.  This includes the making, performance, modification, and termination of contracts, and the enjoyment of all benefits of the contractual relationship. 

 

Unlike Title VII, Section 1981 does not require a minimum number of employees.  This statute applies to employees as well as corporations in certain situations.  It applies to both private and public employers.

 

Section 1981, unlike the WLAD and Title VII, provides for unlimited punitive damages against proviate employers for claims of racial discrimination and retaliation. 

 

To see the statute itself, visit: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/1981