In chapter 3: “Equal employment opportunity”, the nature of equal opportunity is quickly established as “Employment decisions must be made on the basis of job requirements and worker qualifications.” Unlawful employment decisions occur when a decision is made based upon protected characteristics. Protected characteristics include certain individual attributes such as race, age, sex, disability, or religion. Unlawful discrimination can also include either disparate treatment which is defined as individuals being treated differently from other based upon nonjob related characteristics, this can be either overt or intentional and must follow a pattern. Or disparate impact which is defined as “when an employment practice that does not appear adversely or obviously discriminatory adversely affects individuals with a particular characteristic. This is when identical criteria are used for all groups of people, but the criteria may affect some populations more than others.
The Civil rights act of 1964, title VII is a broad-based discrimination law which states that “it is illegal for organizations to discriminate in any way based on a person’s sex, race, national origin, color and or religion. This is an extremely important law because this law basically illegalized the ability of organizations to discriminate in any way when making business decisions based on personal characteristics. This law applies to employers with more than 15 employees, all educational facilities, all state and local governments, all public and private employment agencies, all labor unions with 15 or more members and joint labor and management committees for apprenticeship and training. A second broad-based discrimination law would be the Civil rights Act of 1991 which required employers to show that an employment practice would be related to the position for work and is necessary for a business practice. Executive orders 11246, 11375 and 11478 made these same practices normal for federal contractors.
Another section of equal opportunity laws are Sex and Gender discrimination laws.
The Pregnancy discrimination act was enacted in 1970 and it stated that maternity leave would be treated the same with the same importance as any other personal or medical leave. Prior to this law, if a woman became pregnant, she would be able to be terminated from her job with no other reasons. This provided protection for pregnant women. This law was absorbed by the Family and medical leave act of 1993. This law added more protection to women, including up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave provided by the law but also allowed for the ability to return to the job after the pregnancy had passed. These laws vastly increased the protections for pregnant women in the workplace from discrimination. The equal pay act also protects against sex discrimination. The law states that similar wages must be paid to employees having equal work without regard to gender, a man and woman with the same qualifications should be paid the same.
Disability discrimination laws are another layer of protection possessed by the working-class individuals with disabilities that create equal employment, The rehabilitation Act of 1973 is the earliest law representing individuals with a disability and was only applicable for federal contractors. This law essentially provided equal opportunity for disabled workers and applicants. The Americans with Disabilities act was enacted in 1990 and applies to private employers, employment agencies and labor unions with 15 or more employees. This Law protects all individuals with disabilities if they are able to perform the core function of the job of which they are either performing or applying too. The Americans with disabilities act also states that if an applicant with a disability applies the company must provide reasonable accommodations on a case-by-case basis. These laws are important as they allow for populations of people with disabilities to continue to work.
Age discrimination Laws are another part of equal employment opportunity laws that provide protection for employees above the age of forty. The Age discrimination in employment act enacted in 1967 prohibits discrimination against all individuals aged 40 or older employed by an organization having 20 or more workers. The Older workers benefit Protection Act was an amendment to the age discrimination in employment which adds protection to employees whose sign liability waivers for age discrimination in exchange for severance packages.
Lastly, the immigration reform and control act of 1989 is protection in the workplace for citizens of the United States. This Law requires that employers verify the employment eligibility status of all employees without discrimination. The law also requires that each employee must complete an employment eligibility verification form within the first three days of employment. This prohibits employment of people without the right to work in the United States.