Equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees and candidates for employment. Discrimination violations are generally covered by federal anti-discrimination laws such as Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. States have also enacted their own equal employment opportunity laws.
Under law, employees are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of an employee’s age, sex, race, nationality, religion, political affiliation, disability, pregnancy status, and in some states, sexual orientation. Discriminating against an employee is a serious violation and can result in serious consequences for the employer.
In addition to general anti-discrimination laws, several laws have been passed that provide more specific equal employment opportunity protections. For instance, the Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay workers equally for equal work that is done in the same company or establishment. Equal work is defined as work that requires similar skill, efforts, and responsibility for work that is performed under similar conditions.
Another example of a more recent, specific EEO laws are those that govern genetic information discrimination. These prohibit employers from discriminating against employers based on their genetic profile. Genetic testing is sometimes helpful in determining whether an employee might contract a certain industrial disease. However, some laws prohibit or restrict an employer’s ability to perform genetic testing.
These newer types of laws may vary by state and region. However, they demonstrate the notion that EEO laws are often subject to constant change and adjustment as new legal issues and needs arise.
Equal employment violations and legal disputes may be resolved through a complaint or investigation through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This may result in the employer being subject to sanctions, further investigations, or consequences such as removing the employer responsible for the discrimination. In addition, the employer may be reinstated to their position.
If an EEOC claim is not sufficient to remedy the violation, the employer may sometimes file a lawsuit for damages. This can often help them receive compensation for lost wages, lost work opportunities, and other similar damages. However, the worker must usually file with the EEOC before they can file a lawsuit.
EEO violations are often serious claims that require legal investigation and analysis. It may be in your best interests to hire an employment law attorney in your area if you feel that you have an EEO claim. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and guidance when filing a claim, and they can represent you during formal meetings and hearings.
Last Modified: 01-19-2017 11:27 AM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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