EEOC Laws: Everything You Need To Know
The EEOC laws make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, etc. The United States EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) is a self-governing national agency accountable for implementing federal regulations that make it unlawful to discriminate against an employee or a job applicant because of a person's:
- Sex (gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy)
- Age (40 or older)
- National origin
- Genetic information
In addition, it is unlawful to discriminate against an individual because the person reported the instances of prejudice, filed a suit of discrimination or engaged in an employment prejudice inquiry or suit. Most workplaces with at least 15 team members remain covered by EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) laws (20 workers in age and gender discrimination suits), except for the EPA (Equal Pay Act), which covers practically all organizations.
EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) laws: An overview
The United States EEOC is a federal organization that drafts federal laws to prevent workplace discrimination. Apart from applying to organizations with more than 20 employees, this EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) law covers labor unions and employment agencies and includes organizations in the national sector. In addition, the EEOC laws apply to all kinds of work conditions, including:
The EEOC laws call for an objective recruitment process that remains free from bias. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) accepts and examines charges of workplace prejudice from the masses or workplace employees.
If the EEOC find any instances of discrimination, they attempt to conciliate between the organization and the employee to get compensation or other financial assistance for the individual. The harassment victims can likewise seek non-monetary assistance in the form of policy changes or job reinstatement. In addition, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission carries the power to register a suit to guard the rights of people and the interests of the general public.
What are some prevailing EEOC laws that every company must follow?
Below are some of the common EEOC laws that every organization's HR professionals must follow to remain compliant.
- Workplace Discrimination Laws
Workplace discrimination laws are one of the most significant EEOC laws that help organizations guard against the prejudice of any person based on disability, age, national origin, genetic information, race, sex, colour, pregnancy, or religion. In addition, HR professionals and managers should remain familiar with the respective laws that protect these classes of individuals, such as:
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Equal Pay Act (EPA)
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
These statutes are applicable in all phases of an employee's work cycle, from pre-hiring procedures through appropriate termination. Furthermore, candidates or employees can file discrimination claims if a company rejects someone based on their race or sexual orientation.
HR professionals and managers must remain compliant with all these laws and take proper steps to avoid practices that expose a company to unnecessary accountability. There is also tremendous pressure on companies to deliver improved harassment prevention training. Managers must understand what is lawfully known as harassment to eliminate it in the organization.
- Wage and Hour Laws
These wage and hour laws, protecting the earnings and employee work hours get regulated by the United States Labor. The principal law—the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)—has numerous significant operations. For instance, this law:
- Dictates the federal minimum wage
- Set the 40-hour workweek
- Summaries provisions for overtime pay
- Mandates child labour laws
Another crucial regulation in this class is the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) of 1993, which authorizes qualified employees to 12 weeks of unpaid holiday for medical and personal reasons, with a continuance of job security and medical coverage. In addition, these wage and hour laws were enacted in 2010 to comprise improved flexibility for military officials and veterans to offer them extra protection under the law.
- Employee Benefits Laws
This category of EEOC statutes assists in guarding workers' access to workplace benefits. The most well-known laws under this category include:
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly known as "Obamacare," was legislated to improve entry to inexpensive healthcare for people residing below poverty levels.
- The ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) specifies that any company presenting annuity plans must meet specific minimum criteria.
- The COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) directs insurance programs to present qualified workers access to ongoing medical insurance coverage for a set time after quitting the job.
- The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) affords workers and their dependents security and privacy from presenting private medical documents. This law guards employees against prejudice based on medical history or prevailing health conditions.
- Immigration Laws
Immigration laws, including the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act), aims to assure that organizations only employ applicants qualified to operate in the United States, including citizens, lawful permanent residents, noncitizen citizens, and aliens permitted to work.
These rules summarize the use of I-9 forms to affirm workplace compliance. In addition, this law makes it mandatory for companies to verify employee eligibility and remain conscious of anti-discrimination regulations in place.
- Workplace Safety Laws
The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act), enacted in 1970, ensures employees in a workplace always get a secure working atmosphere. The Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) Administration, a unit of the United States Department of Labour, manages the compliance with this Occupational Safety and Health regulation.
Another area of enactment developed to safeguard the security of workers is employees' compensation statutes. These laws outline the management of disability training programs that help federal workers injured in the workplace. In addition, state government or private company employees remain protected under laws dictated by the respective state's worker compensation committees.
When should you reach out to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?
Employees can register a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if they think they faced some harassment or unfair treatment at their job. In addition, if workers face prejudice based on colour, race, religion, sex (including gender identity, pregnancy, and sexual orientation), disability, national origin, age, they can register a complaint with the EEOC.
Furthermore, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also accepts complaints if an employee did not receive a job based on nationality, religious beliefs or disability. In addition, people who feel retaliated at work can file a lawsuit with the EEOC. It is important to understand that a person other than the victim can also register the complaint with EEOC. It can be any other person, company, or agency on behalf of the victim to guard the victim's identity.
To summarize, the laws enacted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission remain mandatory for all organizations operating in the United States. Therefore, companies must ensure that they provide adequate training to their workforce regarding the repercussions of workplace harassment. In addition, they must guarantee that no one in their workplace faces discrimination based on their background, race, sex, culture, religion, language, and even if any incidents get reported, the administrators must look into it right away.
Furthermore, an organization must strive for a secure, equitable and inclusive work atmosphere for its employees to thrive and add intrinsically to its growth. This is why most organizations are now taking measures to train their workforce for preventing workplace harassment and become EEOC compliant to guard their employees against workplace prejudice.