Equal employment opportunity refers to the just treatment in various aspects of employment, including actual employment, job promotion, and worker training. Equal opportunity laws make sure that fair employment opportunities are given to all workers and job applicants. These opportunities should be available regardless of one’s race, gender, age, national origin, and disability, among others. However, not all employers follow these statutes strictly even though workplace discrimination is deemed as illegal by law.
There might be instances wherein workers themselves and not the employers or bosses who harass female or Hispanic employees or even abuse Muslim workers in their workplace. These circumstances can still happen in firms committed to nondiscrimination. Therefore, employers might need to spend money on legal settlements if one of their workers can substantiate unjust treatment against their personnel.
What Is the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1972 forbids employment discrimination based on the following factors:
- National origin
- Political ideology
- Marital or familial status
This particular statute serves as an additional clause under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The latter has the same conditions as the EEOA, as it forbids employment discrimination based on a worker’s gender, race, color, national origin, and religious beliefs. This applies to the following aspects:
- Worker employment and termination
- Employee compensation, assignment, or classification
- Worker relocation, promotion, layoffs, or recalls
- Job advertisements
- Applicant recruitment and testing
- Use of company facilities
- Worker training and apprenticeship programs
- Employee benefits such as fringe benefits, wages, retirement plans, and disability leaves
- Other work-related terms and conditions
In addition to businesses and firms, Title VII also covers private and public employment agencies and labor groups.
Which U.S. Federal Agency Enforces Equal Opportunity Laws?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Committee (EEOC) is the federal agency that implements federal anti-discrimination statutes. These include the following EEOC regulations:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA)
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
- Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)
The EEOC investigates legal complaints regarding discriminatory hiring and termination procedures. The Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 also authorizes the agency to file lawsuits against private employers in federal courts. However, this can only be possible if it finds a probable cause for employment discrimination based on any of the factors above. It also has the authority to pass on instances of discrimination in federal employment to the U.S. Attorney-General.
The EEOC takes various aspects into consideration in their decision to file a case against erring employers, which include the following:
- The validity of the complainant’s evidence
- The issues within the particular lawsuit
- The case’s possible effect on the agency’s endeavors to tackle discrimination in the workplace
The agency also conducts outreach, education, and technical assistance programs to prevent further discrimination from occurring.
What Are the Different Stipulations Under the EEOA?
Aside from making employment discrimination illegal, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act expanded Title VII’s jurisdiction to local, state, and federal employment agencies. This ruling gave protection to an additional 10 million Americans while decreasing the minimum number of covered workers under this law to 15 employees. The Equal Opportunity Act even offered equal rights protection in schools and universities.
Moreover, changes to the EEOC’s existing guidelines on women and pregnancy in the workplace took effect due to the Act. The agency did not allow employers to compel their female workers into taking leaves of absence while pregnant or fire pregnant workers from their jobs.
How Is the Equal Employment Opportunity Act Beneficial to Employers and Workers?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Act offers a few advantages for both employers and employees. These include the following benefits:
- Staff retention
- More significant productivity regarding business
- Better recruitment procedures
Staff retention happens when companies espouse diversity guidelines that take the EEOA into account, thus building trust between employers and their workers. It also pushes employees to dedicate themselves to their jobs and assists in worker retention, making the company retain skilled and loyal employees.
On the other hand, businesses that adhere to the EEOA can help foster shared trust between employers and employees. This helps the latter concentrate on their work which eventually yields high productivity levels. Lastly, employers will be able to attract exceptional and diverse workers based on value when they adopt transparent guidelines in recruitment and observe equal opportunity laws such as the EEOA.
Consult a Workplace Discrimination Lawyer for Expert Legal Advice
Workplace discrimination cases are deemed as legally and factually complicated. Therefore, it is crucial to hire an attorney that specializes in these types of claims if you want proper results. You also have to be aware that if you have no legal representation, your employer can use this situation to either turn down a legal settlement or force you into negotiations for an unreasonably small amount. Thus, you should not attempt to negotiate your case and come to a settlement with your employer on your own.
If you are a victim of workplace discrimination in California, Mesriani Law Group offers excellent legal services for this particular labor law violation. We have represented clients who have been involved in various lawsuits related to employment law violations and even personal injury cases.
Our expert employment discrimination attorneys will help you strengthen your case and get just compensation from your erring employer through regular consultations and aggressive representation in court proceedings.