With the shift in America from a mercantile to a highly industrialized society, the right to use his labor and skill has become a person's most valuable asset. The common law did little to preserve this asset, since an employer had the absolute right to discharge his employee at will. While the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the Constitution provided some relief in federal and state discriminatory practices, they offered little hope for those deprived of employment opportunities by the discriminatory acts of private individuals.