About the Human Rights Commission WE STAND TOGETHER The Human Rights Commission was established to: –Assist local unions in promoting diversity, –Eliminate all forms of discrimination that divides us on the job, in society and in our union, –Sponsor conferences that bring together groups to help celebrate their contributions to the fabric of our union, –Encourage Teamsters participation in national events like Martin Luther King Day celebrations, –Develop educational materials on topics such as sexual harassment, ADA and other forms of discrimination, –Foster unity and strength among all our members. HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION STATEMENT –The Teamsters Human Rights Commission is proud of the strength that is drawn from the diversity within the union’s ranks. –Further, we recognize the need to educate, and to learn that different physical and cultural qualities such as “race, age, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disabilities, or national origin” make individuals unique and deserving of respect. –The Commission will actively work to involve all members, crossing the barriers of division; increasing opportunities for participation; fighting the discrimination that weakens, and uniting our great union. The Commission will build a network of communication, creating a powerful voice to advocate dignity and justice on the job, in the community, member-to- member, neighbor-to-neighbor, throughout our nations and around the world. The Commission will use its energies to strengthen our great union, preserving its foundation for future generations of Teamsters.
National Origin and Citizenship Discrimination Discrimination on the basis of national origin or "ethnicity" is prohibited by Title VII for employers with 15 or more workers. Although not specifically defined in the statute, "national origin" has been defined as "the country of one’s ancestry." Although Title VII does not cover discrimination based upon citizenship, requirements that have the effect of discriminating on the basis of national origin may be illegal. The EEOC also considers English-only rules to be illegal. Also, as with race bias, harassment in the form of ethnic slurs or other verbal or physical conduct related to national origin may violate the statute. Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) – Discrimination on the basis of citizenship or national origin is also prohibited under the IRCA. The IRCA requires employers to verify that all employees hired after November 6, 1986 are authorized to work in the United States. In addition, the IRCA prohibits all employers with at least four employees from discriminating on the basis of national origin or citizenship. The IRCA prohibits discrimination in hiring, and prohibits firing, intimidating, threatening, coercing, or retaliating against any individual who files or intends to file a charge or complaint. In addition, employers are prohibited from asking only individuals who look or sound foreign or who are of a particular national origin for documents showing proof of their identity and work authorization.
The Rehabilitation acts of 1973 and The American Disabilities Act Disability Discrimination There are several federal laws prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 covers federal contractors and programs receiving federal funds. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations and telecommunications. Under both statues, employers are prohibited from discriminating against qualified applicants and employees with disabilities and are required to provide reasonable accommodations for such individuals, unless doing so would cause an "undue hardship" on the business. TITLE I OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT: EMPLOYMENT PROVISIONS – TITLE I OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990, WHICH TAKES EFFECT JULY 26, 1992, PROHIBITS PRIVATE EMPLOYERS AND STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS WITH 15 OR MORE EMPLOYEES, EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES, AND LABOR UNIONS FROM DISCRIMINATING AGAINST QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES IN JOB APPLICATION PROCEDURES, HIRING, FIRING, ADVANCEMENT, COMPENSATION, FRINGE BENEFITS, JOB TRAINING AND OTHER TERMS, CONDITIONS AND PRIVILEGES OF EMPLOYMENT. TITLE I IS ENFORCED BY THE EEOC. –Who is a "qualified" individual under the ADA?– The ADA provides protection only for qualified individuals with a disability. A qualified individual with a disability is an individual with a disability who, absent the disability, is otherwise qualified for the job. –What are "essential functions" of the job and how are essential functions determined? - The term "essential functions" refers to the fundamental duties of a job that must be performed with or without reasonable accommodation. The basic rule of thumb for essential functions of the job is that someone with a disability need not be qualified to do everything a job requires, but only those essential functions that are at the heart of the job. –Who is disabled under the ADA?– An individual is disabled under the ADA in three different circumstances: (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such an impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. –"Undue Hardship" Exception from the
–What is a Reasonable Accommodation? – Job accommodation under the ADA refers to the reasonable amount of expense, effort or restructuring that an employer must undertake to enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job. A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way that jobs are customarily performed that enables a worker with a disability.. –Reasonable Accommodation Requirement – Failure to provide reasonable accommodation may be justified where the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business. Employers are not required under the ADA to provide an accommodation that would be unduly, costly, extensive, substantial, disruptive, or that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business. Whether a particular accommodation poses an undue hardship will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
GLBT Caucus In September, 2004 three members of the Teamsters Human Rights Commission met in Kansas City, Missouri to discuss the need for a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Caucus within the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. An immediate need was recognized to advance understanding, acceptance and respect of GLBT issues within the Teamster Organization and our workplaces. Additionally, we envisioned a caucus that would promote activities which would further the rights and interests of the Teamster GLBT Community. For more information, visit us at Our Goals and Objectives The primary purpose of the Teamsters GLBT Caucus is to unify, educate and empower Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the workforce at large, to ensure equality in the workplace and to enhance workers’ power at the bargaining table, in organizing campaigns, and in the political arena. The caucus intends to accomplish these objectives through the following actions: More… As union members, we know there is strength in numbers. We need your assistance, involvement and support. Please join us to help make the GLBT Caucus an integral force within our union!
Advancing understanding, compassion, equality, acceptance and respect within the Teamster organization through education and awareness. –Members of the caucus and other persons of good will for the purpose of promoting and participating in economic, cultural, civic, legislative, political, educational, fraternal, charitable, welfare, social and other activities which further the interest of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the labor movement and ASSISTING OTHER NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS HAVING RELATED PURPOSES AND OBJECTIVES. OPPOSING DISCRIMINATION AND OPPRESSION IN THE WORKPLACE AND IN ALL ASPECTS OF SOCIETY THROUGH EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY. PARTICIPATING IN COMMUNITY SERVICE ACTIVITIES. ENGAGING IN POLITICAL ADVOCACY WITH THE GOAL OF CREATING EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL CITIZENS IN THE WORKPLACE AND IN THE GREATER COMMUNITY.
Sex Discrimination GENDER-BASED DISCRIMINATION – IT IS UNLAWFUL UNDER TITLE VII FOR AN EMPLOYER (INCLUDING A UNION AS AN EMPLOYER) TO REFUSE TO HIRE, TO DISCHARGE, OR IN ANY MANNER DISCRIMINATE, LIMIT, SEGREGATE, OR CLASSIFY EMPLOYEES ON THE BASIS OF SEX. IT IS ALSO ILLEGAL FOR AN EMPLOYMENT AGENCY OR A UNION ORGANIZATION TO DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF AN INDIVIDUAL’S GENDER. SEXUAL HARASSMENT – SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS A FORM OF ILLEGAL SEX DISCRIMINATION DEFINED BY THE EEOC AS "UNWELCOME SEXUAL CONDUCT THAT IS A TERM OR CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT." TWO TYPES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT ARE ACTIONABLE UNDER TITLE VII INCLUDING "QUID PRO QUO" (THIS FOR THAT) AND HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT. QUID PRO QUO OCCURS WHEN SUBMISSION TO OR REJECTION OF SUCH CONDUCT BY AN INDIVIDUAL IS USED AS THE BASIS FOR EMPLOYMENT DECISIONS AFFECTING THE INDIVIDUAL. HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS UNWELCOME SEXUAL CONDUCT THAT UNREASONABLY INTERFERES WITH AN INDIVIDUAL’S JOB PERFORMANCE OR CREATES AN INTIMIDATING, HOSTILE OR OFFENSIVE WORKING ENVIRONMENT. THERE ARE THREE MAIN ISSUES INVOLVED IN A DETERMINATION OF WHETHER ILLEGAL SEXUAL HARASSMENT HAS OCCURRED. FIRST, THE UNSOLICITED SEXUAL CONDUCT MUST BE UNWELCOME, OFFENSIVE AND/OR UNDESIRABLE. SECOND, TO VIOLATE TITLE VII THE CONDUCT MUST BE SUFFICIENTLY SEVERE OR PERVASIVE TO ALTER THE CONDITIONS OF THE VICTIM’S EMPLOYMENT AND TO CREATE AN ABUSIVE WORKING ENVIRONMENT. FINALLY, WHETHER AN EMPLOYER CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR THE CONDUCT OF SUPERVISORS, CO-WORKERS, OR OTHERS IN THE WORKPLACE MAY DEPEND UPON THE TYPE OF HARASSMENT, THE APPARENT AUTHORITY OF THE HARASSER, THE KNOWLEDGE THAT CAN BE IMPUTED TO THE EMPLOYER, AND THE ACTION TAKEN TO PREVENT OR CORRECT THE SITUATION. PREGNANCY/MATERNITY ISSUES – DISCRIMINATION BASED ON GENDER UNDER TITLE VII ALSO INCLUDES DISCRIMINATION "ON THE BASIS OF PREGNANCY, CHILDBIRTH, OR RELATED MEDICAL CONDITIONS." THESE PROVISIONS WERE ADDED BY THE 1978 PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION ACT. UNDER THIS ACT PREGNANT EMPLOYEES MUST BE TREATED THE SAME FOR ALL EMPLOYMENT- RELATED PURPOSES, INCLUDING RECEIPT OF BENEFITS UNDER FRINGE BENEFIT PROGRAMS, AS OTHER PERSONS NOT SO AFFECTED BUT SIMILAR IN THEIR ABILITY OR Title VII prohibits sex discrimination with respect to employment. Discrimination based on sex also includes sexual harassment, pregnancy issues, fetal protection policies and sex-based differences in employee benefits.
INABILITY TO WORK. EMPLOYERS MAY NOT FIRE OR REFUSE TO HIRE OR PROMOTE A WOMAN BASED ON HER PREGNANCY, NOR MAY THEY FORCE A PREGNANT EMPLOYEE TO TAKE A MANDATORY LEAVE THAT IS NOT BASED ON AN INDIVIDUAL ABILITY TO PERFORM ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS. INSURANCE AND OTHER BENEFITS – THE EEOC HAS TAKEN THE POSITION THAT BENEFITS ARE WAGES FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE EQUAL PAY ACT AND THAT DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF PREGNANCY WITH REGARD TO FRINGE BENEFITS AMOUNTS TO SEX DISCRIMINATION. TEMPORARY DISABILITY COVERAGE OFFERED TO MALE EMPLOYEES MUST BE GRANTED ON AN EQUAL BASIS TO FEMALE EMPLOYEES FOR THE TEMPORARY DISABILITY OF PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH. EEOC FETAL PROTECTION POLICIES – POLICIES EXCLUDING ALL WOMEN CAPABLE OF CHILDBEARING FROM CERTAIN JOBS THAT WILL EXPOSE THEM TO SUBSTANCES POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS TO FETUSES WERE STRUCK DOWN BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT AS DISCRIMINATORY UNDER TITLE VII. FRINGE BENEFITS – UNDER BOTH TITLE VII AND THE EQUAL PAY ACT IT IS UNLAWFUL TO DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF GENDER IN "COMPENSATION, TERMS, CONDITIONS OR PRIVILEGES OF EMPLOYMENT." FRINGE BENEFITS, WHICH INCLUDE MEDICAL, HOSPITAL, ACCIDENT AND LIFE INSURANCE, RETIREMENT BENEFITS, PROFIT SHARING AND BONUS PLANS, LEAVE AND OTHER SUCH CONCEPTS, ARE PART OF THE PRIVILEGES OF EMPLOYMENT AND MAY NOT BE DOLED OUT IN A DISCRIMINATORY MANNER
Religious Discrimination Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of religion in hiring practices, promotion decisions, leave policies, and other employment actions. Any sincerely held religious, moral or ethical belief is entitled to the law’s protection. An employer is required to "reasonably accommodate" employees’ religious observances or practices, unless it can demonstrate that such accommodation would create an "undue hardship" on its business. A reasonable accommodation does not have to be the least restrictive or the one suggested by the employee. Also, an accommodation that requires an employer to bear more than a minimal cost or to violate a valid seniority system or collective bargaining agreement is an undue hardship.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers from discriminating against workers who are 40 years of age or older. The ADEA covers private employers of 20 or more persons as well as state and local governments, employment agencies serving covered employers and labor unions with 25 or more members. Specifically, labor unions that operate a hiring hall or office that recruits potential employees or obtains job opportunities also must abide by the law. In general, the ADEA prohibits age discrimination in hiring, discharge, pay, promotions and other terms and conditions of employment. Several groups of employees are partially exempt from ADEA coverage. These include some high-level managers, public safety personnel (such as police officers and fire fighters), uniformed military personnel and tenured employees at colleges and universities. Also, an employer can defend itself against an age discrimination charge by showing that age is a bona fide occupational qualification for a particular job. For example, if a job is physically demanding in certain situations an employer may raise this defense.
Race Discrimination Title VII prohibits racial discrimination, including bias on the basis of ancestry or ethnic characteristics such as skin color and facial features. The statute protects against racial discrimination in all aspects of employment, including hiring and firing, wages, promotions, use of company facilities, and all other terms and conditions of employment. In addition, employers must maintain an atmosphere free of racial intimidation. As with sexual harassment, complainants must show either an unreasonably abusive or offensive work environment, or that the harassment adversely affected a reasonable employee’s ability to perform the job. In these situations both the Union and the employer may be found liable if the harassed individual can show that the employer either knew or should have known about the harassment and did nothing to stop it. Public Employees – Racial discrimination in employment may also be constitutionally forbidden by public employers under the equal protection or due process guarantees of the Fifth or Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.