Employment Laws and Regulations

Employment Laws and RegulationsWhy would people need to know and be aware of employment laws There are many different employment laws that are of importance in the workforce. The Equal Pay Act helps abolish wage differences based on gender. Another law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination of employment against person for their race, color, gender, national origin, and religion.

A third act is the Age Discrimination of Employment Act which was signed in 1967. As said in the name of the law, the ADEA prohibits discrimination of employment against people the age of 40 or older. In 1970, a law was passed to regulate the collection, distribution, and use of consumer information. This law also includes consumer credit information and is known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act. To amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was signed. The law prohibits sex discrimination for a person being pregnant. A final employment law is the Family Medical Leave Act. The law allows employees to take time off for medical and family reasons.

Human Resource professionals, Managers, and Employers will benefit from knowing at least these six different employment laws. The mindset that men were the head of a household and should therefore earn more money than the women eventually was regarded unfair. Soon after, minimum wages laws were instated. And in June of 1963 the Equal Pay Act was established.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits discrimination of wages based on sex. The act affects HR managers and employers. Any form of pay, for example salary, bonuses, stock options, vacation/holiday pay are affected by the act. A person who feels their employer has violated the law need not file a complaint with the EEOC, instead they can take the employer to court directly. However, individuals have only two years (as amended) after the incident to file a claim with the EECO or going to court. One of the most famous court cases regarding the Equal Pay Act was Ledbetter v.

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Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company which was decided on May 29, 2001. After early retirement Lilly Ledbetter filed claims against Goodyear after finding out she was making considerably less money than her male counterparts performing the same job. The issues regarding this case are that Ledbetter only had 180 days after the pay discrimination to file the law suit against her previous employer.

Also, according to the act, it is not unlawful practice to give individuals of the same job different levels of pay as long as it is not based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Because Ledbetter had filed the claim against Goodyear more than 180 days of the grievance, the courts decided in favor of the employer, It wasn??™t until years later that Ledbetter prevailed in this case when President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The act extends the 1800th day statute of the Equal Pay Act. For more information regarding this case and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 visit the following resources: * http://www.eeoc/gov/laws/types/equal/compensation.cfm * http://www.

essortment.com/all/equalpayact_rvwx.htm * http://www.laws.cornell.edu/supct/html/05-1074.ZS.

htmlTitle VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was established to prohibit an employer??™s discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. It protects against intentional discrimination as well as practices that have a discriminative effect on employees. The law was established with the help of the Civil Rights Movement. It covers all private employers, state and local governments and educational institutions with 15 or more employees. Title VII most affects human resources managers when creating job applications along with career advancements among internal employees. In addition, HR managers may be affected by Title VII when dealing with termination, benefits, raises etc. If an employee feels they have been discriminated against, they should file a complaint with the EEOC. The employer will then be notified by the EEOC if the claim is legitimate, and an investigation will take place.

If the employer is found to have violated the law, legal remedies including monetary damages, injunctive relief and legal fees incurred will need to be paid to the employee along with reinstatement/promotion of original employment and wages will also likely follow. A famous example of an employer violating Title VII is the Griggs v. Duke Power Company case which was decided in 1971. The Supreme Court rules that if an employer??™s policies conduct racial discrimination and the employer cannot prove that the policies are a business necessity, then that employer has violated Title VII.

There are several websites available with more information about Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1946. To review a few please visit the following internet resources: * http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutues/titlevii.cfm * http://employment.findlaw.

com/employment/employment-employee-discrimination-harassment/civil-rights-title-7.html * http://hehero.com/topics/title7.htmlThe roots of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, or ADEA, date back to 1964 when Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was created.

Title VII prohibited discrimination in employment based on race, color, sex, national origin or religion, but did not address discrimination based on age. Three years later, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 was enacted. The foundation of the statute is to protect individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The law prohibits unlawful discrimination against a person with regard to all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training. The law protects both current employees and job applicants, and applies to employers with 20 or more employees, including federal, state, and local governments, as well as employment agencies and labor organizations.

Human resource professionals, managers, and employers are greatly affected by the law. When a job position is posted, or advertised, the notice may not include age preferences or limitations, unless required by law for a certain job duty. Employers need to be very selective in the information that they request regarding age, as not to deter older candidates or indicate any possibility of age discrimination. Employers are not allowed to withhold benefits based on age, even if the cost of the benefit is greater for the company. The Age Discrimination Act is enforced by the Civil Rights Center (CRC). The CRC monitors and ensures nondiscrimination and equal opportunity.

IF one feels that they have been discriminated against based on their age, the first step is to file charges with the appropriate state agency, or the EEOC. The plaintiff will need to provide evidence that supports that the employer based their actions at least in part, on the employee??™s age. If the information is sufficient, it then becomes the duty of the employer to prove that there was a reason for the action based on evidence that is not discriminatory. Possible remedies for those that have been wronged under the law may include reinstatement and back pay for the employee. If reinstatement is not possible, or the violation is determined to be intentional, damages may also be awarded. A case example under the ADA is the Meacham v.

Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory which was decided in June of 2008. The case was based on the accusation by a former employee of Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, that the company violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 when choosing who to let go while downsizing. The employee, Clifford Meacham, suggests that the company based their layoffs on age, and not the score they received for performance, flexibility, and critical skills combined with points for years of service. Of the 31 employees let go, 30 were at least 40 years old. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 statute states that it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment, including hiring , firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments and training. While it is concerning that of the 31 employees let go, 30 were at least 40 years old, the employer prevails in this case based on the evidence that was provided. There was not sufficient evidence to support confirmation that the company did not base its layoffs on the scores given for particular criteria. Human resources and management can learn from this case how important it is to follow the regulations regarding age discrimination.

Possibly, they may choose to take extra precautions to ensure they are making employment decisions based on eligible criteria and not age. They should also make sure that they have the proper documentation to show the reasons for employment decisions, and that they are treating everyone equally. To review more information on the Age Discrimination Act, please visit the following websites: * http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/06-1505.ZC.

html * http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/age.html * http://www.dol.govThe Fair Credit Reporting Act was created in 1970. This act provides a framework for credit reporting and outlines the rights of consumers regarding their credit reports.

Goals of the federal statue include promoting accuracy, fairness and privacy of information in consumer files. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, and monitors credit bureaus and agencies that provide additional personal information to the credit bureaus. The Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibits credit bureaus from providing inaccurate information to creditors or employers. The law requires that a consumer must be informed if information in their file has been used against your to deny credit, insurance, or employment. Consumers must be informed of the name of the agency that provided the information, along with their contact information. The law also states that consumers have the right to know what information is in their file. The information must be provided to consumers free of charge once per year, upon request, or in any of the following situations: 1.

) An adverse action has been taken against a consumer based on information in their credit report 2.) A consumer is the victim of identity theft; inaccurate information is in a consumer??™s file due to fraud 3.) A consumer is on public assistance or 4.) A consumer is unemployed but expecting to apply for employment in the next 60 days.

Consumers also have the right to request their credit score and dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. Reporting agencies must correct to delete the inaccurate information from a consumer??™s file. Reporting agencies are not allowed to report negative information on the credit report after 7 years, or 10 years for a bankruptcy. Consumer reporting agencies are only allowed to provide information to people that are specified as having a valid need. In order for information to be given to a potential employer, the consumer must give written permission.

Human Resource Professionals and managers must know the laws and understand the rules that govern their use of information received through a potential employee??™s credit report. They must ensure that they have a permissible purpose for requesting the information, they must provide certification, and they must notify a potential employee if adverse action is taken. The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for the prevention of fraudulent and unfair practices related to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

If a consumer has concerns that the law has been violated, they should contact the Federal Trade Commission and provide the information about their experience. Consumers should also contact the Credit Reporting Agency responsible for the incorrect information, and advise the creditor that they are disputing the information. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows for consumers that are wronged under the law to take action against businesses that violate the law. Consumers may be entitled to damages, both punitive and statutory.

A case example under the Fair Credit Reporting Act is the Safeco Insurance Company of America v. Charles Burr. This case was brought by insurance applicants against insurance companies in regard to not be advised that the rates they were offered were based on information the companies received from the applicants credit report. The insurance companies offered the applicants auto insurance rates that were high than the lowest rates possible. The applicants stated that the companies did not provide them notice that adverse action was taken, and these rates were determined based on information from their credit reports. This case is in Violation to the Fair Credit Reporting Act because it requires that any company that is taking adverse action against any consumer, based on information received from the consumer??™s credit report must provide notice to the consumer.

The notice must advise of the action, give explanation to the consumer on how they may reach the agency reporting the information, and inform the consumer that they are eligible to request a copy of the report at no charge. The message consumers can take from this case is to do good research and to know that laws are in place to protect them. Without the knowledge of the protection available to them, the consumer would be at the company??™s mercy. The company can also learn from this case that they must be honest with the consumer regarding the rates offered, and why the consumer is receiving a less than ideal rate, or they may face consequences associated with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You can find more information regarding this case and the Fair Credit Reporting Act at: * http://www.pueblo.

gsa.gov/cic_text/money/fair-credit/fair-crd.htm * http://www.ftc.

gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdf * http://www.ftc.gov/creditThere are many issues to consider in pregnancy discrimination, the well-being of the child, the well-being of the mother, employer/employee relations, as well as gender issues. There is however several State and Federal laws that are protecting people against pregnancy discrimination. Two of the Federal laws are the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family Medical Leave Act (which will be discussed further). The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was an amendment to the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, it is illegal for an employer of 15 or more workers to discriminate against a person because of pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions. This means that employers must treat pregnancy the same way they treat any other temporary medical disabilities. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act states that an ???employee cannot be fired, denied a job, or denied a promotion simply because they are or may become pregnant???. An employee cannot be forced to take pregnancy leave if they are still willing and able to work.

An employee must be provided the same level of medical benefits, disability insurance and leave as are offered for other medical conditions or disabilities. The other Federal law, the Family and Medical Leave Act gives added protection. During pregnancy, FMLA states that ???if a doctor or health care provider says their patient is sick and unable to work during their pregnancy, they may be able to get up to 12 weeks off without pay???. Time off is also allowed for childbirth, adoption, and to care for a sick child or family member. If someone takes time off under this law, they have the right to return to the same job or an equivalent job with equal pay and benefits when returning back to work. The two laws work hand in hand to prevent pregnancy discrimination giving employees certain rights and laying down basic rules for employers to follow. There was a case in which unionized female employees sued Union Pacific Railroad Company for discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. The women argued that the company violated the law by excluding prescription contraception from coverage under its healthcare plan.

The policy excluded both male and female contraceptive methods, prescription and nonprescription, when used for the sole purpose of contraception. In reversing a district courts ruling, the appeals court said that the companys policy wasnt discriminatory because it also excluded contraceptive methods that affected men, such as condoms and vasectomies. Contraception, like infertility treatments, is a treatment that is only indicated prior to pregnancy because contraception actually prevents pregnancy from occurring.

Furthermore, like infertility, contraception is a gender-neutral term. Union Pacifics denial of coverage for contraception for both sexes did not discriminate against its female employees in violation of Title VII, as amended by the PDA. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has interpreted the PDA as requiring employers to cover prescription contraception for women if they cover other prescription drugs and devices, or other types of services, which are used to prevent the occurrences of other medical conditions. However, the majority of the panel said it found the EEOCs decision “unpersuasive” in the case before the court.

The decision addressed a policy that denied coverage of prescription contraception but included coverage of the surgical contraceptive methods of vasectomies and tubal ligations. Union Pacifics coverage is different because it excludes coverage of all contraception for women and men, both prescription and surgical. In a unorthodox opinion, Judge Kermit E. Bye agreed with the district courts ruling, saying the appeals court panel should have compared contraceptive coverage and other preventive coverage to see if they are equal, instead of comparing female contraception (prescription contraception) and male contraception (condoms and vasectomies). This failure only medically affects females, as they bear all of the health consequences of unplanned pregnancies. An insurance policy providing comprehensive coverage for preventative medical care, including coverage for preventative prescription drugs used exclusively by males, but fails to cover prescription contraception used exclusively by females, can hardly be called equal.

It just isnt so. For more information regarding the case of Union Pacific??™s Refusal to cover contraception in worker health plans and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act please visit the following sites: * http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20050725005679/en/Women-Win-Nationwide-Sex-Discrimination-Case-Union * http://www.eeoc.gov/index.cfm * http://www.en.

wikipedia.org/After many bitter debates between the Republicans and Democrats, Congress passed the Act on February 4, 1993. The Act became effective on August 5, 1993. The FMLA requires employers with fifty or more employees within a seventy-five mile radius to offer eligible employees up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave during a twelve month period for a variety of medical reasons. The Act spells out provisions on employer coverage, employee eligibility for the law??™s benefits; entitlement to leave, maintenance of health benefits during leave and job restoration after leave, notice and certification of the need for FMLA leave, and protection for employees who request or take FMLA leave.

The law also requires employers to keep certain records. In the following case filed under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that a school district that placed a custodian on involuntary leave based on two factors medical restrictions from her own doctor, and her use of FMLA leave would have to show at trial that it would have taken the same action regardless of her FMLA leave. In making that ruling, the court has reminded employers that employment decisions that might ordinarily pass legal muster may be successfully challenged if they were even partially influenced by improper consideration of FMLA leave. In the case Hunter v.

Valley View Local Schools, Ernice Hunter a substitute custodian for Valley View Local Schools, suffered injuries and underwent surgeries in 2003, 2004, and 2005. She took long periods of medical leave, most of which were covered by the FMLA. As this case illustrates, illegal discrimination or retaliation need only be a motivating factor, not the motivating factor, for an adverse action to expose an employer to liability under the FMLA. Even a perfectly legitimate reason for taking adverse action against an employee such as medical restrictions that prevent her from performing her job can be undone if you also consider her use of FMLA leave when making the decision. Consequently, you must be extremely careful not to consider absences protected by the FMLA when taking disciplinary action or terminating an employee. For more information on the case and the Family Medical Leave Act visit: * http://www.

mmmglawblog.com/tp-080318191354/post-090826115224.shtml * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FMLA * http://www.nalc.

org/depart/cau/fmla.htmlIn conclusion, these bodies of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents enforced by the EEOC all address the legal rights and restrictions on working people and their organizations. The laws deal with rights and obligations of both employees and employers within the workplace. The failure to fulfill obligations or to respect employee rights leads to a large number of litigations every year. Ending up in court can obligations or to respect employee rights leads to a large number of litigations every year. Ending up in court can be avoided by maintaining yourself properly informed on your rights and obligations. However, if you have a complex employment law problem, it??™s best that you consult a specialist. ReferencesClifford B.

Meachem, et al., Petitioners v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, aka Kapl, Inc., et al., No. 06-1505 (Supreme Court of the United States June 18, 2008)EEOC. (n.

d.). Retrieved November 12, 2010, from U.S.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: http://www.eeoc.gov/index.cfm Fair Credit Reporting. (n.d). Retrieved December 3, 2010, from http://www.

pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/money/fair-credit/fair-crd.htmFair Credit Reporting Act Statutes. (n.d.

). Retrieved December 4, 2010 from http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdfSafeco Insurance Company of America, et al., Petitioners v.

Charles Burr, et al. Geico General Insurance Company, et al., Petitioners v Ajene Edo, (No.

06-84), (No. 06-100) (Supreme Court of the United States June 4, 2007).The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Facts About Age Discrimination.

(n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2010, from http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/age.htmlU.

S. Department of Labor. (n.d.). Retrieved November 29, 2010, from Equal Employment Opportunity-Age Discrimination: http://www.

dol.govWebsite Federal Trade Commission Consumer Protection. (n.d.

). Retrieved December 3, 2010, from http://www.ftc.gov/creditWikipedia. (2010). Retrieved November 9, 2010 from Pregnancy Discrimination and Family Medical Leave Act: http://www.en.wikipedia.org/