The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERR) protects people who serve or have served in the armed forces, Reserves, National Guard, or other uniformed services. The act ensures these individuals are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service. It also requires they be reemployed in their civilian jobs upon return to service and prohibits discrimination based on past, present, or future military service.
Human Resource Call
What types of discrimination (under the EEOC) do you think are the most common and why? Have you ever experienced discrimination in the workplace, at school, or in extracurricular activities? Explain.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency charged with the development and enforcement of laws relating to multiculturalism and diversity in the workplace.
- The EEOC covers discrimination based on several areas. Companies cannot discriminate based on age; EEOC law covers people who are forty years or older.
- Employers cannot discriminate against people with disabilities and must provide reasonable accommodations, such as the addition of a wheelchair ramp to accommodate those with disabilities.
- Equal pay refers to the fact people should legally be paid the same amount for performing the same type of work, even if the job title is different.
- The newest addition to EEOC law prohibits discrimination based on genetic information, such as a history of cancer in a family.
- Unfavorable treatment of people because they are from a particular country or part of the world or have an accent is covered by the EEOC. An organization cannot require people to speak English, unless it is a requirement for the job or needed for safety and efficient operation of the organization.
- Women can’t be discriminated against because they are pregnant. The inability to perform certain tasks due to pregnancy should be treated as a temporary disability; accommodation can be in the form of modified tasks or alternative assignments.
- The EEOC protects people from discrimination based on their race or color.
- Religion is also an aspect of the EEOC family of laws. The protection of religion doesn’t allow for discrimination; accommodations include modifications of work schedules or dress to be made for religious reasons.
- Discrimination on the basis of sex is illegal and covered by the EEOC. Sexual harassment is also covered by the EEOC and states that all people, regardless of sex, should work in a harassment-free environment.
- Retaliation is also illegal. An organization cannot retaliate against anyone who has filed a complaint with the EEOC or a discrimination lawsuit.
- The US Department of Labor oversees some aspects of EEOC laws, such as theFamily and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This act requires organizations to give twelve weeks of unpaid leave in the event of an adoption, a birth, or a need to provide care to sick family members.
- Visit the EEOC website at http://www.eeoc.gov and explain the methods an employee can use in filing a complaint with the EEOC.
- If an employer is found to have discriminated, what are some “remedies” listed on the EEOC website?
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