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Equal Employment Opportunity and Human Resources Management

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Tatti Hernandez

on 12 February 2016

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Transcript of Equal Employment Opportunity and Human Resources Management

Equal Employment Opportunity and Human Resources Management
Government Regulation of Equal Employment Opportunity
Protected classes

Individuals of a minority race, women, older people, and those with disabilities who are covered by federal laws on equal employment opportunity.
Other Equal Employment Opportunity Issues
Historical Perspective of EEO Legislation
"Employment discrimination is not only a legal issue but an emotional one. It concerns all individuals, regardless of their sex, race, religion, age, national origin, color, physical condition, or position in an organization."
Uniform Guidelines on Employee
Selection Procedures
Enforcing Equal Employment Opportunity Legislation
Affirmative Action and Diversity Management
as a national priority has emerged slowly in the United States.
Three factors seem to have influenced the growth of EEO legislation:
changing attitudes toward employment discrimination
published reports highlighting the economic problems and injustices experienced by minority workers
a growing body of disparate discrimination laws and regulations at different levels of government that
legislators felt should be standardized.
Public attitudes towards discrimination changed dramatically with the beginning of the civil rights movement.
Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which extended to all people the right to enjoy full and equal benefits of all laws, regardless of their race.
By: Tatiana Hernández
Due Date: 14-10-2015

Major Federal Laws
Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
Both the victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and the harasser can be the same sex.

The first
, is when submission to or rejection of sexual conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions.If a supervisor promotes an employee only after the person agrees to an after-work date, the conduct is clearly illegal.
The second
type of harassment, hostile environment, interfering with job performance or creating an offensive working environment.
Dirty jokes, vulgar slang, nude pictures, swearing, and insults create a hostile environment when an employee finds them offensive. E-mail, text messages, and posts on social-networking sites have become convenient ways for employees to sexually harass their coworkers electronically.
Sexual harassment involving physical conduct can invite criminal charges, and punitive damages can be assessed against both the employer and the individual offender.
Sexual Harassment
Sexual Orientation
Nearly half of U.S. states and some cities also have passed laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in workplaces.
An exception was made for military personcnel, who were subject to the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy at the time.
It becomes important for managers and supervisors to know and follow the legal rights of homosexuals in their geographic area.
Good employment is the magnet that attracts many people to the United States.
Employees are prohibited from discriminating in hiring or termination decisions on the basis of national origin or citizenship.
Immigration Reform and Control
Emerging Employment Discrimination Issues
Weight Discrimination
Some studies show that weight discrimination, especially against women, is not only increasing but has become almost as common as racial discrimination.
Workers who are heavier than average are paid $1.25 less an hour.
No federal laws prohibit weight discrimination, although the EEOC has said that morbid obesity is a protected disability under the ADA.
For instance, some cities, including Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Madison, Wisconsin, have banned discrimination based on a person’s weight.
Attractiveness and Discrimination
Discrimination based on “physical characteristics” or “personal appearance”.
However, there are no federal laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace based on people’s attractiveness.
Unattractive job candidates would have a harder time landing a job.
For example, Abercrombie & Fitch salesperson who says she was fired because her look was not consistent retailer’s look. (The EEOC filed the suit based on race discrimination.)
There are no federal statutes that prohibit discrimination based “solely” on a person being a caregiver. However, disparate treatment arises when an employee with caregiving responsibilities is subjected to discrimination based on a protected characteristic under equal opportunity laws (such as sex, race, age, and so forth).
Denying women with young children an employment opportunity available to men with young children is an example. So is refusing to hire a worker who is a single parent of a child with a disability based on the assumption that caregiving responsibilities will make the worker unreliable.
Caregivers and Discrimination
The Uniform Guidelines is a very important procedural document for managers because it applies to employee selection procedures in the areas of hiring, retention, promotion, transfer, demotion, dismissal, and referral.
It is designed to help employers, labor organizations, employment agencies, and licensing and certification boards comply with the requirements of federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.
When using a test or other selection instrument to choose individuals for employment, employers must be able to prove that the selection instrument bears a direct relationship to success on the job.
The Uniform Guidelines provides strict standards for employers to follow as they validate selection procedures.
Adverse Impact and Disparate Treatment
Adverse impact refers to the unintentional rejection for employment, placement, or promotion of a significantly higher percentage of members of a protected class when compared with members of nonprotected classes.

However, the guidelines do encourage employers to use selection procedures that are valid. Organizations that validate their selection procedures on a regular basis and use interviews, tests, and other procedures in such a manner as to avoid adverse impact will generally be in compliance with the principles of equal employment legislation.

There are two basic ways to show that adverse impact exists:
Adverse Rejection Rate, or Four-Fifths Rule.
According to the Uniform Guidelines, a selection program has an adverse impact when the selection rate for any racial, ethnic, or sex class is less than four-fifths (or 80 percent) of the rate of the class with the highest selection rate.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has adopted the
four-fifths rule
as a rule of thumb to determine adverse impact in enforcement proceedings. The four-fifths rule is not a legal definition of discrimination; rather, it is a method by which the EEOC or any other enforcement agency monitors serious discrepancies in hiring, promotion, or other employment decisions.
Restricted Policy.
Any evidence that an employer has a selection procedure that excludes members of a protected class, whether intentional or not, constitutes adverse impact. For example, hiring individuals who must meet a minimum height or appearance standard is evidence of a restricted policy.
In EEO cases, it is important to distinguish between adverse impact and disparate treatment discrimination.
Adverse impact
cases deal with unintentional discrimination;
disparate treatment
cases involve instances of purposeful discrimination. For example, disparate treatment would arise when an employer hires men, but no women with school-aged children.
Disparate treatment

A situation in which protected
class members receive unequal treatment or are evaluated by different standards.
Workforce Utilization Analysis
As you have learned, employers must be aware of the impact their selection procedures have on protected class members. Part of this process involves analyzing the composition of their internal workforce when compared with their external labor market.

The EEOC refers to this comparison as workforce utilization analysis. This concept simply compares an employer’s workforce by race and sex for specific job categories against the surrounding labor market.
As the federal government’s leading civil rights agency, the EEOC is responsible for ensuring that covered employers comply with the intent of this act.
The commission accomplishes this goal primarily by:
issuing various employment guidelines and monitoring the employment practices of organiza-
protecting employee rights through the investigation and prosecution of discrimination charges.
The EEOC’s work consists of formulating EEO policy and approving all litigation involved in maintaining equal employment opportunity.

Employees filing a claim are encouraged to call the EEOC on its toll-free number or fill out a questionnaire online so the commission can begin the process of evaluating whether or not the complaint is covered by the laws it enforces.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Record-Keeping and Posting Requirements
Organizations subject to Title VII are required by law to maintain specific employment records and reports. Federal contractors and subcontractors have special EEO reporting requirements. Those failing to comply with record-keeping and posting requirements or willfully falsifying records can incur penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

When a charge has been filed, employers have additional recordkeeping obligations.
The EEOC also collects workforce data from some employers, regardless of whether a charge has been filed against the company.
The record-keeping requirements are both detailed and comprehensive. For example, managers must generate and retain for specific time periods different employment data.
Employers of 100 or more employees (except state and local government employees) and government contractors and subcontractors must file annually an EEO-1 report (Employer Information Report). The report collects data about gender and race/ethnicity. T
his comprehensive report
is the EEOC’s basic document for determining an employer’s workforce composition, investigating charges of discrimination, providing information about the employment status of minorities and women, and analyzing employment patterns, such as the representation of female and minority workers within companies, industries, and regions. Employers can submit the EEO-1 report through the agency’s web-based filing system.
Posters explaining to individuals what their
employment rights
are and how to file complaints of discrimination have been developed by the EEOC and other administrative agencies.
The law requires that employers display these posters and other federally required posters related to HRM in prominent places easily accessible to employees. HR employment offices, cafeterias, centrally located bulletin boards, and time clocks are popular locations. . For example, EEO posters show the time limits for filing a charge of discrimination. If a company fails to post these notices, the EEOC could allow an employee to file a discrimination charge late (past the 180-day filing deadline).

Processing Discrimination Charges
Employees or job applicants who believe they have been discriminated against first

file a discrimination complaint, or charge form, with the EEOC. The charge must be

filed within 180 days of the alleged unlawful practice occurring. The processing of

a charge includes notifying the employer that a charge of employment discrimination

has been filed. Employers will receive a copy of the charge within ten days of it being

filed. Both parties, the plaintiff (employee) and the defendant (organization), must be

prepared to support their beliefs or actions.
Once the investigation is under way or completed, several decision points occur.

First, the employer may offer a settlement to resolve the case without further investigation. If the offer is accepted, the case is closed.
Second, the EEOC may find no violation of law and dismiss the charge. In this case, the charging party is sent a right-to-sue notice, which permits the individual to start private litigation, if he or she so desires, in federal court within ninety days.
Third, if the EEOC finds “reasonable cause” of discrimination, the commission will attempt to conciliate (settle) the matter between the charging party and the employer. The conciliation process is a voluntary procedure and will not always lead to a settlement. If the employer and the EEOC cannot reach a negotiated settlement, the commission has the power to take the organization to court.
However, this decision is made on a case-by-case basis depending upon how important the issue is to the commission.
Managers and supervisors must not retaliate against individuals who invoke their legal rights to file charges or to support other employees during EEOC proceedings.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act states that an employer may not discriminate against any of his employees because the employee has opposed any unlawful employment practice, or because the employee has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceedings, or hearing under this Act.
Retaliation can include any punitive action taken against employees who elect to exercise their legal rights before any EEO agency. These actions can include terminating employees, giving them unjustified negative appraisals, subjecting them to more supervision, and reducing their salaries and work responsibilities, and transferring to a less desirable job.
Preventing Discrimination Charges
Since managers and supervisors are key to preventing and correcting discrimination, they, in particular, must be trained to understand employee rights and managerial obligations.
A comprehensive training program will include:

(1) the prohibitions covered in the various EEO statutes and executive orders.
(2) guidance on how to respond to complaints of discrimination.
(3) procedures for investigating complaints
(4) suggestions for remedying inappropriate behavior.

Perhaps the ultimate key to preventing employment discrimination is for
managers and supervisors
create an organizational climate
in which the principles of dignity, respect, and the acceptance of a diverse workforce are the norm and therefore expected.
Affirmative action

A policy that goes beyond equal employment opportunity by requiring organizations to comply with the law and correct any past discriminatory practices by increasing the numbers of minorities and
specific positions.

Affirmative action occurs when employers take proactive steps to help reverse the impact of past discrimination against minorities. Employers with voluntary affirmative action programs actively encourage employment diversity, post job opportunities with minority agencies, remove unnecessary barriers to employment, and offer comprehensive training and mentoring to protected class members.

Employers must:

(1) provide an organizational profile that graphically illustrates their workforce demographics.
(2) establish goals and timetables for employment of underutilized protected classes.
(3) develop actions and plans to reduce underutilization, including initiating proactive recruitment and selection methods.
(4) monitor progress of the entire affirmative action program.

Courts will sometimes mandate employers that have been found guilty of past discrimination to establish affirmative action programs, particularly when the discrimination has been pervasive and a long-held organizational practice. For example, an employer practice of denying promotional opportunities to women or persons of color could be corrected through an affirmative action court order. A court-ordered program, often implemented through a consent decree between the court and employer, will require the setting of hiring and promotional goals along with stated timetables for compliance. When the requirements of the consent decree are met, the employer is no longer bound by the court order.
Sometimes employers voluntarily develop their own affirmative action programs to ensure that protected class members receive fair treatment in all aspects of employment.

A chief diversity officer (
CDO) is a top executive responsible for the implementation of a firm’s diversity efforts.

One of the drawbacks of implementing an affirmative action program is that an employer can be accused of reverse discrimination that is act of giving preference to members of protected classes to the extent that unprotected individuals believe they are suffering discrimination. When these charges occur, organizations are caught between attempting to correct past discriminatory practices and handling present complaints from unprotected members alleging that HR policies are unfair.
Court Decisions
The court stated that affirmative action programs were not illegal.

Also, voluntary affirmative action programs are permissible where they attempt to eliminate racial imbalances in traditionally segregated job categories. The Supreme Court did not endorse all voluntary affirmative action programs, but it did give an important push to programs voluntarily implemented and designed to correct past racial or gender imbalances.
Beyond Affirmative Action: Leveraging Diversity
Managers who embrace a diverse workforce know individual employee differences and the contributions made by people of varied abilities are one way to develop a competitive advantage.
Likewise, many firms have found it advantageous to hire older workers because they are knowledgeable, dependable, and frequently more willing to work flexible hours. And as more companies expand around the globe either physically or on the web, they are recognizing that they need to employ diverse people with different talents to better understand and compete in various markets abroad.
In addition, having a diverse workforce enables a company to keep up with the tumultuous changes occurring in today’s competitive environment. Smart companies know that hiring the same types of employees with the same backgrounds and skills can result in a distinct disadvantage as markets change. Lastly employers with diverse workforces demonstrate to their communities that they are serious about corporate social responsibility.
Bona Fide Occupational Qualification
Suitable defense against a discrimination charge only when age, religion, sex, or national origen is an actual qualification for performing the job.
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