Tag: Equal Employment Opportunity Laws

Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Requirements that Impact a Federal Subcontractor

Federal contractors and subcontractors are required to observe primary requirement of equal employment opportunity (EEO) of executive order 11246. This Executive order outlaws employment discrimination by federal subcontractors and contractors as well as federally-supported construction subcontractors. and contractors to obtain affirmative action to guarantee that all persons have equal employment opportunity without consideration to national origin, race, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, and sex. Federal subcontractors should ensure that no employee or job applicant is treated differently in unfavorable manner due to any of the above named factors. The subcontractor should also not have neutral practice or policy with advance effect on members of any ethnic group, sex, or race or practice or policy is not  associated by business necessity or job related (U.S. Department of Labor OFCCP, n.d.c).

Other primary requirements for Federal contractors and subcontractors include filling a yearly EEO-1 report, keeping records, adding the tag line of EEO to employment advertising, posting Equal Employment Opportunity posters and allowing access of OFCCP to records and books during a compliance evaluation or complaint investigation. Posters of EEO should be posted in a visible place such as lunchroom or in an area where workers can take breaks. Federal subcontractors are also needed to not in all advertisementsor solicitations for employment which all competent applicants will receive employment consideration without regard to national origin, race,color, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, sex or religion. Federal subcontractors are also needed to uphold any employment or personnel records kept or made by the contractor. Such records include personnel files, job descriptions, written employment procedures and policies, job advertisements and postings, tests results and test, job offers records, interview notes, and resumes and applications. This is all done to ensure that a subcontractor observes equal opportunity laws that prohibit any form of discrimination in all employment processes (Department of Labor OFCCP, n.d.a). 

Equal Employment Opportunity also demands that a federal contractor should not discriminate the workers or job applicants based on their disabilities. Based on this requirement, Federal subcontractor should provide advancement and employment of qualified persons with disability. Based on this requirement, in case any person with disability has a reason to believe that any subcontractor has refused or failed to comply with the U.S. contract provisions, associating to employment of persons with disability, or any other form of discrimination addressed by Title VII of Civil Right Act the that person might file a complaints to the labor Department (U.S. Department of Labor OFCCP, n.d.c).

Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws Reflection Paper

The role of equal employment opportunity laws is to ensure that practices that discriminate or are unfair to specific groups are stopped. These laws further provide a definition of the appropriate enforcement agencies that are concerned with these laws. The legislation on equal employment opportunity seeks to provide employment opportunities irrespective of national origin, gender, religion, and race, and attempts to balance the pay given to women and men. In addition to this, the legislation also prevents discrimination against individuals with disabilities and ensures that employees of all ages are treated with fairness. The equal employment opportunity legislation is based on the concepts of discrimination and affirmative action, where in the case of acts of discrimination compensation is given back and affirmative action is taken(Pynes, 2013). Affirmative action ensures that an employer puts in place steps to ensure that people within protected groups are guaranteed of equal employment opportunities.

For instance if an employer pays a lower wage to a woman in comparison to a man for the same work, then this is would be regarded as an act of gender discrimination. If in another instant, an employer refuses to hire a man who is qualified for a job but practices Islam; this would be regarded as discrimination on the basis of religion as it is not a job-relevant criteria for hiring an applicant or promoting a candidate.An employer is also responsible for harassment and acts of discrimination by its employers at the workplace and based on this can be held responsible; vicarious liability, unless the employer can prove that it put in place preventive measures to stop harassment and discrimination. Contravening the equal employment opportunities laws attracts penalties and fines for employers.It is a complex challenge for managers to manage human resources effectively because the regulatory and legal environment is changing constantly, requiring that human resources managers stay updated and always on top of things to avoid legal consequences(Pynes, 2013). There also exist areas of legal ambiguity and fiscal uncertainty that call for sound evaluation by human resources managers to ensure that legal obligations are always met in the best way possible (Rush, 2012).

At the Department of Defense, there have been cases of unlawful termination where whistleblowers in particular have not been protected in accordance with the Fair Work Act of 2009 which for certain reasons prohibits an employer from taking ‘adverse action’ against an employee. Employees who have played the role of a whistleblower in exposing improper dealings in various projects have been known to lose their jobs, including their pension. This, according to Katel (2006) points to a lack of protection for employees who find themselves caught between preserving the integrity of their jobs and the threat of losing their job security by uncovering illegal dealings at the workplace. This is irrespective of whether the actions of the employee were in fact in favor of the organization and in certain instances under the instruction of the employee’s bosses. This point to situations where junior employees can and are in fact used as scapegoats by their superiorsto take the fault for actions gone bad at the workplace and thus sabotaging employee rights.Employees considered disloyal as witnessed in the case of whistleblowing are in many instances transferred or gagged illegally(Katel, 2006).

Protection of the rights of employees in non-negotiable, and in instances where loopholes exist in the way employees are treated and protected at their place of workshould by all means be sealed by law. As exhibited in the case of whistleblowing, there is an obvious social stigma associated with the process and act of alerting others to corruption, danger, scandal, wrongdoing, and other forms of malpractice, which leads to the ostracizing of whistleblowers and a continued lack of protection for their rights as employees. These kinds of disclosures are typically unauthorized and are made through the media or directly to agencies charged with monitoring compliance to the related laws. Protection of the concept of rational loyalty where a whistleblower’s actions are evaluated in light of an organization’s interests as opposed to the interest of the people who control the organization at a given time should be prioritized and upheld by the law. The protection of whistleblowers based on the concept of rational loyalty is by extension the protection of an organization’s real values and those whom they serve; the general public(Blonder, 2010).

In reaction to this reality, Peter & Richard (2012) propose the deliberate inclusion of the term ‘conscience’ in the list of specific freedoms outlined by the constitution, drawing a clear distinction between freedom of religion  and a strongly developed freedom of conscience. In their argument, which I also agree with, the inclusion of the term ‘conscience’ recognizes it as a robust and independent freedom that contributes effectively to the development of whistleblowing practices that are valuable socially and that operates within a framework(Peter & Richard, 2012).

Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws

Equal Employment Opportunity laws and regulations protect employees from certain types of job related discriminations at their places of work. These laws and regulations are monitored and enforced by the Department of Labor (Dobbin, Sutton, Meyer& Scott, 1993). The Department of labor has two agencies that deal with such laws and regulations, they include:

1) The Civil Rights Center,

2) The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

Below are a number of federal equal employment opportunity laws and how they influence fair employment practices within our organization.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.

This act prohibits employers of federal financed programs and activities from discriminating against employees or potential employees based on their age. The Act advocates for use of other given age distinctions besides age. The act protects job applicants as well as employees who are above 40 years of age from being discriminated against during the recruitment, hiring, promotion, compensation, and discharge processes ((Dobbin, Sutton, Meyer& Scott, 1993).

All organizations are required to ensure that their recruiters comply with this law as failure to do so could lead to lawsuits. The company I work for does not obligate applicants to disclose their age when applying for a job. This ensures that the shortlisting process is free from age-based bias. The impact of this act on a company is that the company cannot disqualify an applicant based on their age. Consequently, the company is forced to hire individuals who are over 40. Although such individuals may be qualified for the position, their productivity tends to be lower than that of younger employees.

Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

This Act prohibits discrimination against potential employees, job applicants; current employees; and any other project participants of any federal sponsored program or activity, which is a member of the One-Stop system. This Act deals with discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, and place of origin. Section 188 also forbids discrimination based on an individual’s age, political belief, disability, and citizenship (for beneficiaries only)(Dobbin, Sutton, Meyer& Scott, 1993).

This means that an organization cannot disqualify an applicant based on their race, religion, place of origin and so on. The company I work for does not obligate applicants to disclose such information when applying for a job. This ensures that the selection process is free from discrimination. Furthermore, employees who belong to any of these minority groups are treated equally to other employees. The HR department is keen to ensure that discrimination does not take place.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.

This act protects potential employees, job applicants, and employees from discrimination based on their genetic information. Genetic information includes genetic tests of the job applicant or employee and that of their family members; occurrence of an illness or a health condition in the applicant’s or employee’s family; and receipt or requests by employer of genetic services(Dobbin, Sutton, Meyer& Scott, 1993). This act applies in hiring, during promotion, when discharging employees, during training and referrals, when offering pay and other benefits, and in all other aspects of engagement. This Act also controlscollection and disclosure of genetic information by the employer.

Our company does not request or obligate employees or applicants to disclose their genetic information except on very special occasions such as when a pre existing condition would interfere with performance. For instance, when an applicant is applying for a position that could worsen certain health conditions.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963.

This Act prohibits organizations from sex discrimination when paying wages to individuals of both sexes performing equal work. This Act dictates that individuals who hold a job position that requires equal responsibility, effort, and skill should be recompensed equally regardless of their gender. In line with this, our company has fixed wages for different job positions to ensure that such bias does not occur(Dobbin, Sutton, Meyer& Scott, 1993).