Presentation on theme: "The Legal Series: Employment Law I. Objectives Upon the completion of training, you will be able to: Understand the implications of Title VI Know what."— Presentation transcript:
The Legal Series: Employment Law I
Objectives Upon the completion of training, you will be able to: Understand the implications of Title VI Know what is enforced by the EEOC Understand what is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act Know what to expect during an EEOC investigation Properly handle employee terminations
Title VI Title VI comes from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which marked a great change in employment law as courts became more involved in the workplace. This law is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice. It was the first piece of legislation to prohibit employment discrimination. This law prevents discrimination on the ground of race, color, or national origin by government agencies that receive federal funding. If discrimination occurs, such funding may be removed.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Enforces federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee based on: Race, Color, Religion, Sex National Origin, Age, Disability, Genetic Information Retaliation shall not occur when employees: Complain of discrimination File a charge of discrimination Participate in a discrimination investigation or lawsuit
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) This federal law was passed in 1990, and prohibits employment discrimination against those who are disabled. It is enforced by the EEOC. Discrimination is prohibited in these cases: In hiring, firing, compensation, & other employment conditions, as well as in using standards to limit employment opportunities Based on a person’s association with or relationship with an individual with a disability In retaliating against an individual for exercising their rights under the ADA or for claiming disability discrimination
Determining Coverage Determining whether an individual is disabled under the ADA is done on a individual basis, but there are some general guidelines. The term “disability” refers to a person who: Has a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities Has a record of such impairment Is regarded or treated as having such an impairment
Responsibilities The employer is responsible for making “reasonable accommodations” for the physical or mental limitations of individuals (applicants or employees) with a disability, unless doing so would pose significant difficulty or cost (“undue hardship”) on the part of the employer. A reasonable accommodation is a change to the work environment that helps a disabled person to apply or perform the essential duties of the job. Example: A deaf applicant may need a sign language interpreter during the job interview.
EEOC Laws & Investigations EEOC laws apply to many aspects of work, including: hiring, terminating, promoting, transferring, training, assigning benefits, and other employment conditions. If there are charges of discrimination against an employer that is covered by the law, the EEOC has the right to investigate such allegations. If discrimination has been found, charges can either be settled or lawsuits may be filed.
How the EEOC Handles Charges Against Employers When a discrimination charge has been filed against an employer, they will be notified by the EEOC within 10 days of the charge. An invesitgator will then be assigned to the case, and their contact information will be provided. Mediations and settlements may be an option or an investigation of the department could take place.
EEOC Investigations The charging party (employee) and you (the employer) will be asked to provide information. Such information on your part may include: 1.) Statement of Position: which is your chance to share your side and perspective of the situation. 2.) Request for Information (RFI): in which you must give copies of personnel policies and employee files (including those of the charging party and any other employees relevant to the case). * On-Site Visits by EEOC officials may also occur
What You Should do During an EEOC Investigation Work one on one with your Human Resource Representative. Work cooperatively with the EEOC official doing the investigating. Respond to and provide detailed, complete responses to any requests for information. Ask questions if you have any concerns. Keep relevant documents throughout the investigation.
Potential Outcomes 1.) If the EEOC determines there is no reasonable cause to think that discrimination occurred: Charging party then has the right to file a lawsuit in federal court within 90 days 2.) If the EEOC determines that there is reasonable cause to think that discrimination occurred: Charging party and employer meet with an outside agency to try to resolve the charge If no resolve is made or is inadequate, EEOC or the charging party is then able to file federal lawsuit
Wrongful Terminations Wrongful terminations occur when an employer has illegally fired or laid off an employee. Cases of wrongful termination exist when firing: Violates federal and state anti-discrimination laws Violates oral and written employment agreements Violates labor laws Is a form of sexual harassment Is done in retaliation to an employee’s filing of a complaint or claim against the employer
How to Handle Employee Terminations Laws about employee terminations are often subject to change. There is no definite set of procedures for terminating an employee, but some general practices for the employer: Prepare for the termination from the beginning Consult Human Resources for assistance throughout the process Be familiar with employment laws; follow policies closely Be familiar with the terms & conditions of employment Review the employee’s personnel file for evidence to support the termination Evaluate risks Be consistent Plan termination meetings Document the termination process
Conclusions Familiarizing yourself with employment laws and how they are relevant to your organization can prepare you for unexpected situations. Knowing how to handle investigations and terminations properly can significantly decrease the chance of loss within your organization.