The Cost of Non-Compliance
Employees can be discriminated against for many reasons. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission the main reasons are: age, disability, equal pay, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, retaliation, sex, and sexual harassment. (EEOC home page) There are also many ways in which an employee can be discriminated against. According to the EEOC an employee can be discriminated against in any aspect of employment, including everything from compensation, assignment, or classification of employee, to job advertisements and even transfers, promotions, layoffs, and recalls. (EEOC discriminatory practices) This wide span of reasons and ways to discriminate leaves employers open to many lawsuits, especially if their managers and leaders are not trained on the topics.
An example of a very important type of discrimination that not many are familiar with is retaliation. The EEOC sums up retaliation by saying that an employer may not fire, demote, harass or otherwise "retaliate" against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposing discrimination. The same laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, and disability, as well as wage differences between men and women performing substantially equal work, also prohibit retaliation against individuals who oppose unlawful discrimination or participate in an employment discrimination proceeding. (EEOC retaliation)
An example of discrimination against race occurred in 2007. Target Corp. agreed to pay over $500,000 to settle a lawsuit in which four management applicants claimed that they were victims of racial discrimination, according to the Associated Press on December 12 of that year. The suit was settled December 11, when U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa signed a consent decree, the news service reported. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had accused the Minneapolis-based retail giant Target (NYSE: TGT) of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it did not hire four black applicants in Milwaukee and Madison, then destroyed their applications in bad faith. The suit alleged that it did not keep documents as required under the law. Under terms of the settlement, the AP said that Target would pay a total of $510,000 to four applicants that were denied jobs as assistant store managers in 2000 and 2001. (Business Journal)
Examples like these show the value of employers properly educating their staff. Training employees on all reasons and ways of discrimination helps them understand they need to avoid costly mistakes. An HRIS like People-Trak helps HR professionals effectively manage training programs with the People-Trak Training Module. This powerful feature enables HR professionals to complete a variety of tasks including tracking detailed information about internal and external training programs, course history, skills acquired, and costs accumulated. People-Trak also tracks demographics, and has an EEO-1 form preloaded so HR professionals can make sure they are up to date with the survey requests of the EEOC. People-Trak makes HR professionals more effective by empowering them to fill out the EEOC forms, and view important training information at the click of the mouse.
(n.d.). Retrieved from EEOC home page: http://www.eeoc.gov/index.html
(n.d.). Retrieved from EEOC discriminatory practices: http://www.eeoc.gov/abouteeo/overview_practices.html
(n.d.). Retrieved from EEOC retaliation: http://www.eeoc.gov/types/retaliation.html
(n.d.). Retrieved from Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/stories/2007/12/10/daily13.html