There are many different types of employment law in the United States and around the world. In an effort protect individuals from unfair treatment in regards to employment, certain statutes are formed and created Federal laws protecting employees. In 1964 Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of this Act named the Fair Employment Practices Act focused on laws that employers would have to follow in relation to how they treat their current and prospective employees. The purpose of this Act was to ensure individuals the right to current or future employment without discrimination and to allow them to sue employers if those laws were violated. The Equal Employment Opportunity ...view middle of the document...
This protects employees from unlawful work place practices and keeps the employees as equals. (Cheeseman)
Hiring and promoting based on merit, work performance, seniority and qualifications are not unlawful employment practices. Employers are also responsible for creating a safe and hostile free environment for their employees. They should have policies in place to take complaints of discrimination and a process for follow up. If an employee files a complaint they must do so with the EEOC. The EEOC then investigates the claim and can do one of two things. They can decline to prosecute themselves and give the complainant a "right to sue letter" stating that they are able to sue the employer for damages themselves; or they can choose to sue the employer on behalf of the complainant. (Cheeseman)
If successful the complainant can receive up to two years in back in addition to attorney fees. If the company was found to have acted with malice or reckless indifference, compensatory and punitive damages can be awarded. Dollar amounts can range from $50,000 to #$300,000 depending on the size of the business. The plaintiff can also receive a court ordered reinstatement if their employment was terminated. (Cheeseman)
Employers can defend themselves from these types of lawsuits. Employees are responsible for bringing discrimination matters to the attention of their employer to give them the opportunity to fix the problem. An employer can argue that they exercised reasonable care to prevent or correct the behavior. They could also state that the employee did not use proper tools or actions to prevent the behavior and did not take opportunities provided by the employer to correct the problem.
Employers are required to reasonably accommodate their employees for different things. Religious practices are an example of an employee and employer accommodation. The employer must allow employees to alter their work habits if it has to do with a religious practice. This accommodation cannot place and undue hardship on the company and is also dependent on how many workers that employer may have available. Some employees may not be qualified to cover certain positions and can create a problem in the workplace. Replacement workers may not always be an option. It is up to the employee to bring this information to their employer to inform them of what is needed and work together to make it possible. (Cheeseman)
There are some exceptions to employment laws. Religious organizations are not bound by employment laws. They are able to refuse employment to individuals that are not of the same faith. A Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) is discrimination based on a protected class other than race or color. This type of thing is permitted only in instances where the decision for doing so was job related and a necessity for the company. A female officer being chosen over a male officer to work the shower room in a female prison is an example of BFOQ. However, this...