The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination. Designed to protect not only employees but also employers, the EEOC governs hiring practices to ensure that companies are not engaging in discriminatory behavior that unnecessarily targets certain groups of people. To ensure compliance, here are some things your company should know about the EEOC and your hiring practices:
- Protections of the Civil Rights Act. This is the act that we think of when we consider the EEOC. It protects employees from being discriminated against based on race, color, national origin, sex, or religion.
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Pregnant women cannot be discriminated against in the workplace, as this is a violation of the Civil Rights Act and its protection against sex discrimination.
- The Equal Pay Act. This act was passed before the Civil Rights Act, which then went on to establish the EEOC. The Equal Pay Act provides that all employees doing the same work in the same position must be paid the same regardless of their gender.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act. This act is designed to help people with disabilities access the same employment opportunities available to people without disabilities. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to allow disabled employees to perform their job requirements. However, the employees must be able to effectively conduct the work required if these accommodations are provided.
- The Age Discrimination Employment Act. Protection for employees 40 or older is provided in this act. These employees must also be provided with the same benefits as their younger professional counterparts.
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The newest regulation in the stable of protections from the EEOC, GINA prevents employers from using genetic information to discriminate against their employees.
Employers should promote an inclusive culture in the workplace by fostering an environment of professionalism and respect for personal differences. It is important for employers to implement strong EEO polices; train managers, supervisors, and employees on the contents; enforce the policies; and hold managers, supervisors, and employees accountable.
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This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.