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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Overview and Evaluation

Info: 3648 words (15 pages) Essay
Published: 3rd Mar 2021 in Human Resources

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Part of: Gender Discrimination

Introduction

The principal aim for the research study is to discuss the Equal employment opportunity commission (EEOC), its history, background data, the implications of equal employment opportunity commission, and the Human resource practices and Equal employment opportunity commission. The practices of EEOC are required to fulfill by all organizations. The EEOC works for all individuals and groups and protects their rights against all kinds of discrimination occurred in the workplace. Furthermore, EEOC also provides assistance and protection in court cases, in some scenarios the EEOC also filed the complaints in court on the behalf of the affected employee.

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The article first provided the information on how the EEOC is formed, the complete history and background data, overview of all challenges and issues faced by the EEOC. The paper further examines how EEOC guidelines can be aligned with the practices of human resource management; furthermore, EEOC procedures are briefly discussed. In the next section of the article, the EEOC is completely discussed with the help of core HR Functions like recruitment, selection, training, pay, and performance appraisal. The research study also discussed the most recent cases of sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the workplace on which EEOC is currently working. At the end of the article, there are some recommendations proposed by the researcher and a brief conclusion on the basis of the findings of the article.

Topic Discussion

According to (Mishra & Mishra, 2015), any biased decision which is made under the influence or personating by color, age, sex, sexual orientation, etc. is called discrimination. According to the statistics from 2007 to 2008, there is a 14% increase in complaints against sexual discrimination, 13% in nationality, 14% in religion, 11% in the race and the highest of 29% increase on the basis of age. The EEOC is a federal law regulatory and enforcement body that make discrimination illegal on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability and pregnancy. EEOC is a governmental body that governs and imposes civil law rights against workplace discrimination. The guidelines of the EEOC are equally applied to all the employers with 15 or more employees.

Under EEOC it is also illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint regarding workplace discrimination (Occhialino & Vail, 2005).   It is also against the law for an employer to retaliate against an employee for participating in EEOC investigation. The implications provided by the EEOC are applied to all functions on workplace like hiring, training, compensation, performance management and rewards & benefits (Shen, Chanda, Monga, & Netto, 2009).

Functions and Role of Equal employment opportunity commission

The core function of the EEOC is to enforce the civil rights law regarding discrimination in the workplace, for example, discrimination on the basis of color, sex or religion, etc. the commission also attempts to identify, assess, evaluate and eradicate the issues that are directly related to discrimination in the workplace. EEOC directly assess the charges made fairly and objectively and then take corrective actions.  They also the authority to file lawsuits on behalf of rights for individuals and groups. EEOC also provides guidance and assistance to the federal government on all aspects of workforce discrimination and equal employment opportunity related concerns. The agency also organizes training workshops; provide basic education and technical support and assistance. These educational programs provide crucial awareness and proper guidelines for all types of workplace discrimination like racial discrimination, sexual harassment, religious discrimination, and discrimination on the basis of age, gender discrimination, racial discrimination and discrimination on the basis of disability, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (Equal Employment Opportunity Committee, 1976).

EEOC also works as a law suitor for the affected employees; the Congress gave that right to EEOC to participate in the case on the behalf of the suitor. EEOC is a federal agency involved with enforcement and regulatory activity. For the year 2010, the complaints and laws suit the agency received were 99,992. Whereas, in the year 1997 the complaints received were 80,680 (International Labor Organization, 2018). The EEOC issued the updated data on discrimination related charges that are filed with the help of the agency. The Wall Street Journal also noted that employment discrimination claims overall had increased, now at a “record high,” totaling 95,402, which represented a 15% increase (Cavico, Muffle, & Mujtaba, 2015).

History/Background

The EEOC was founded on July 2, 1965, under the Title VII of the Civil Rights act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the rehabilitation act of 1973. At first, the EEOC only has the right for pacification and minimal investigation but in 1972, Congress passed the equal employment opportunity act which made the most significant improvement in the EEOC. Congress noticed that the title VII of civil rights act 1964 failed to give EEOC the authority to actually enforce the law so as a result, the authority to file legal suits and enforce the implications of Title VII on private employers regarding discrimination by either state or local government is given to Equal employment opportunity commission which further expanded the scope of equal employment opportunity commission from investigation to litigation (Occhialino & Vail, 2005).

Protection of rights of individuals and groups at workplace

The EEOC plays a vital role; the employees who feel that they are discriminated on their workplace can enter a complaint against their employer with the EEOC. Annually, the commission investigates thousands of complaints against discrimination to determine if discrimination happens or not and to what extent it damages the employee.  During the investigation, if a violation of law is found, the EEOC will attempt to conciliate.  If conciliation is not successful, the EEOC can choose to litigate on behalf of the Charging Party (the employee who filed the complaint).  If the EEOC does not choose to litigate, the Charging Party can retain an attorney and file their complaint in federal court.  After 180 days of filing a complaint with the EEOC, without a determination, the Charging Party may request and receive their “right to sue” letter.  This letter gives them authorization to file a suit in the federal court within 90 days of issuance of the letter (Schlanger & Kim, 2014).

Challenges faced by Equal employment opportunity commission

According to (Lipnic, June 2018) EEOC faced many difficulties after taking responsibility for The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in 1979, like increasing ADEA complaints, insufficient resources, inadequate training while simultaneously dealing with piles and piles of over 100,000 charges of Title VII.

In the year 1978, Congress sanctioned The Pregnancy Discrimination Act which further increased the role of EEOC as the agency gained more control. Regardless of these issues, EEOC continued to mark significant success with an increasing number of lawsuits.

Likewise, in the 1980s, EEOC gained even more authority in 1990s as Congress further passed laws and regulations. EEOC gained $168.3 millions of record-breaking success which a huge breakthrough of $133 million from Title VII suits in 2014 including many high-profile cases (Occhialino & Vail, 2005).

Human resource practices, Workforce discrimination and Employment laws

Managing diversity is always been a challenge for Human resource professionals. In the 21st century when the workforce is even more diverse the HR professionals need to have special concerns for employment laws. The culture of the organization plays an important part in achieving equality, enhancing organizational performance and managing diversity. In a survey, 41% of Asian American women addressed the issue of double-standardization at workplace and biases in performance appraisals. When employees regard that their performance rates are biased and their ratings are manipulated because of discrimination organizations tend to face a higher turnover ratio. When a data from a supply distribution center is evaluated, it is found that there is a 4.8% of the difference in performance appraisal rating where the employee sex, supervisor sex, and the supervisor race is considered. Performance ratings are more inclined to rate white workers high than the workers of color. Many researchers agree about the existence of glass ceiling effect that limits the promotion and advancement of women’s, minorities and certain racial groups (Sharma, 2016).

When it comes to religion HR professionals might find it hard to manage a diverse workforce. The SHRM religion and culture survey report 2008 stated that there is a 69% in religious discrimination charges during 1998-2008, more than sex, national origin and race comparatively (Goodwin, Chenhall, & Bilbrey, Jr., 2013).  According to the Council of American-Islamic relations, after the 11 September, 2001 attack the claim of discrimination and mistreatment increased by 15% accordingly. For example, the burqa ban on Muslims in France created a huge commotion in 2004 when headscarf got banned in French public schools and entire nation went to display a systematic act of discrimination. The job satisfaction theory and religiosity have a significant impact on each other because employees always wanted to get accepted at the workplace leading to the overall satisfaction at the workplace in the job itself (Sharma, 2016).

When it comes to workplace discrimination the most debated topic of all time is gender discrimination. The management of equality and workforce diversity differs from society to society but still, biases and discrimination are there (Sharma, 2016). On the other hand, there are a large number of corporations who are actually reluctant to hire and promote women and minorities (Shen, Chanda, Monga, & Netto, 2009). These organizations are actually working to promote the gender-neutral environment for all employees. One of the examples of the company with excellent work ethics and conduct if Cisco. Located in the United States of America, Cisco is an information technology company. According to a survey, 94% of Cisco employees say that this is a great place to work because of its excellent diversity management strategies and approach to employee relations. Cisco was ranked 6th in the list of fortune 100 best companies to work for the best.

Strategies and Actions of HR and Equal employment opportunity commission

According to (Shen, Chanda, Monga, & Netto, 2009) there is a strong emphasis on keeping in line the HR strategies with the guidelines of the EEOC. Many researchers have suggested that the organization should interlink the practices of HR and EEOC. Here is how it can be done:

  1. Recruitment and selection – The core function of human resource management is to recruit talent which is free from all biased thoughts and ideas, it can done through judging the values, beliefs, actions and words of the interviewee during the interviews. The multicultural workforce environment needs people who are actually biased free and open to all kinds of ethnic and religious contempt.
  2. Training and development – Career planning and professional advancement are the areas which are more prone to ethnic discrimination proper training, awareness and careful strategies are required to mitigate the potential discrimination. Minorities should be properly evaluated, acknowledged, and included in discussions panels’ while promoting managers. The organization must ensure proper train for each and every individual.
  3. Appraisal – The most controversial area where most discrimination takes place is performance appraisal. The appraisal system should be objective, relevant to the company, relevant to the job and fully based on merit. EEOC suggested the main focus should be on performance and not on personality, color or gender. Therefore, the overall goal is to make appraisals as culture as neutral as possible.
  4. Pay – The wage design, factors, and determinants of compensation management should be based on performance and not on color, gender, and race. The complete compensation packages should be based on one’s skills, knowledge, and abilities.

In all the discussion above the complete role of EEOC and complete alignment of HR policies with EEOC is required to actually mitigate and implement the implications of Equal employment opportunity commission.

Recent Case of Discrimination at work and Equal employment opportunity commission

As discussed earlier, firstly the Equal employment opportunity commission determines the extent of the discrimination, the strong pieces of evidence are collected, and then a proper and systematic examination is conducted upon the pieces of evidence gathers. If the commission is successful in charging the employer then the further case has proceeded, but if the EEOC is unable to charge the guilty party, then the complaint becomes a lawsuit and moved forward to the federal court to proceed. Following are the most recent cases regarding discrimination at the workplace and how equal employment opportunity commission is dealing with it.

Sexual harassment and the implication of EEOC

Sexual harassment comprises an illegal act of discrimination on the basis of sex under Title VII of the civil rights act of 1964 directly enforced by the EEOC. In 2017, EEOC received a total of 26,978 complaints of workplace harassment. About 20% of complaints were made by men and in women; most complaints were filed by black women on the basis of sexual harassment and also a huge number of racial discrimination at the workplace. The #Metoo movement does actually provide the opportunity for women to talk about harassment and discrimination at the workplace more openly (Zugelder, Crosgrove, & Chamoagne, 2018). The target women reported negative issues like less compensation, mental health problems, racial discrimination, and sexual harassment. According to the statistics provided by the official website the EEOC gained $46.3 billion on sexual harassment-related suits at the workplace (Shaw, Hegewisch, & Hess, 2018).

Investigation on Uber against gender discrimination

In august, 2017, the US EEOC started its investigation on Uber. The former software engineer Susan Fowler wrote a blog post regarding the alleged sexual harassment after that EEOC started the investigation on Uber regarding their hiring practices, pay differences and all other significant issues related to gender. At the same time, Uber is facing other federal cases related to their price strategy and bribery claims (BBC News, 2018).

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Recommendations

The practices of EEOC have a significant impact on employer practices. If the practices and implications given by EEOC are employed perfectly, there could be a significant decrease in the complaints and lawsuits regarding discrimination on the workplace. The proper framework is required to implement the strategy of diversity management and complete alignment of core HR functions with the EEOC provided guidelines.

  1. Creating the culture of patience, trust, interpersonal cooperation and harmony among employees of a different culture or regional backgrounds.
  2. Equally and fairly treatment among employees, the HR appraisals and compensation management must be entirely based on the performance depicted by the employees and not on the gender or color of the employee.
  3. HR professionals are required to organize the training and development program for the line managers and managers to generate awareness regarding discrimination and how to deal efficiently to minimize the discrimination cases at the workplace.
  4. Systematic audits on the culture, diversity management and pay procedures of the areas where there are more chances of discrimination.
  5. Complete organization-wide alignment and commitment to control process and eradicate the discrimination at the workplace for the better and safe environment for women, minorities, people of color and racial origins.
  6. The complete eradication of all kinds of workplace discrimination should also be added in the long-term goals and strategies of the company.
  7. And for the EEOC, they should cancel the dealings, permits, and licenses of the company involved with any kind of discrimination and should also charge penalties and heavy charges against the companies involved.

As discussed above the recent cases of sexual harassment and gender discrimination, the EEOC is playing an active role to mitigate the dangers of discrimination at the workplace in most of the world organizations.

Conclusion

The EEOC is a legal framework body which works on the principles and law passed by Congress. The main aim of this agency is to impose and enforce the laws to mitigate discrimination against religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), color, race, (Title VII), disability, age.  In an ever growing multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual diverse workforce, training is imperative to prevent the increasing cases of discrimination.  Without training, policies and practices, employers and employees can expect to see continuing and conflict and discrimination.  As the country becomes increasingly more diverse, it is important the workplace does as well and is done in a way to minimize discrimination. 

The article has revealed the main causes, main issues and main agendas of discrimination on the basis of gender. The article also included the recent cases of gender discrimination and how the EEOC is working on it.  Employers can benefit from this diversity by having a diverse labor force. This provides the opportunity for employers to hire people from throughout different ethnicities, races and sexes.  Diverse employees help employers to gain easy market insights from around the world; moreover, hiring employees from a different culture will help organizations build the culture of harmony, utter trust, and cooperation.

The law and regulations guidelines provided by EEOC have even more implications on the systemic cases of discrimination. This federal regulatory body collects information regarding employees. The EEOC has all the relevant information regarding the workforce which helps them to easily target, assess, evaluate and mitigate the chances of discrimination.

References

  • BBC News. (2018, July 16). BBC News Business. Retrieved April 28, 2019, from BBC News: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44852852
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. (1976). Employment Discrimination Law Fifth Edition Volume I. Arlington: Bloomberg BNA, Arlington Virginia.
  • Goodwin, D., Chenhall, E., & Bilbrey, Jr., J. (2013). Statistical analysis of religious discrimination complaints throughthe Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Journal of Legal Issues and Cases in Business, 1-13.
  • International Labor Organization. (2018). World Employment and social outlook trends 2018. Geneva, Switzerland: Document and Publications Production,Printing and Distribution Branch (PRODOC) of the International Labor Organization.
  • J. Cavico, F., C. Muffle, S., & G. Mujtaba, B. (2015). Language diversity and discrimination in the American workplace: Legal, ethical, and practical considerations for management. Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies.
  • Lipnic, V. A. (June 2018). The State of Age Discrimination and Older Workers in the U.S. 50 Years After the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Mishra, B., & Mishra, J. (2015). Discrimination in the Workplace. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice Vol. 15(4) 2015, 64-72.
  • Occhialino, A. N., & Vail, D. (2005). Why the EEOC (Still) Matters. Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal, Vol. 22, Iss. 2 [2005], Art. 11, 671-708.
  • Schlanger, M., & Kim, P. (2014). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commissionand Structural Reform of the American Workplace. Washington university law review Volume 91 issue 6, 19-90.
  • Sharma, A. (2016). Managing diversity and equality in the workplace. Sharma, Cogent Business & Management (2016), 3: 1212682, 1-14.
  • Shaw, E., Hegewisch, A., & Hess, C. (2018). Sexual Harassment and Assault at Work: Understanding the Costs. Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR).
  • Shen, J., Chanda, A., D. Netto, B., & Monga, M. (2009). Managing diversity through human resource management:an international perspective and conceptual framework. The International Journal of Human Resource Management,Vol. 20, No. 2, 235-251.
  • T. Zugelder, M., M. Crosgrove, D., & J. Champagne, P. (2018). Sexual Harrassment Prevention after #MeToo: Employers need to reevaluate . American Journal of Management Vol. 18(3), 104-112.

 

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