The value of Fair Treatment in The Workplace

Legislations Protecting Employees from Discrimination in the Workplace

The federal laws on employee protection prohibit a number of work place harassment and forms of  discrimination. Under the Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act, the following classes are protected; Race, Color, Religion, Sex and Nationality of an individual (Title VII Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1964, 1964).  The Sex protection in the federal laws have also been expounded to include;  Preventing one from being discriminated on the basis of pregnancy, child birth or related medical conditions,  sex stereotyping and also sexual harassment in the place of work.

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 The Equal Pay Act of 1963

The Equal Pay Act Of 1963 prohibits payment of unequal wages between employees for equal work done that required equal skills, efforts, and responsibilities, and performed under similar working conditions and establishment. An employee of similar capabilities must be offered the same opportunities for training, promotion, transfer, and apprenticeship programs.  Under the Act, an employee can sue in the court of law for any discrimination in payment where they are compensated less than the peers in the same position and under the same conditions.  An employer in that regard  must  show that the  difference in pay is attributable to  sex-neutral systems like the  seniority system,  merit system; a system that measures the earning based on quality or quantity of work or a premium for completing genuine training program in the establishment to earn such an amount of money. 

 Marly, in the first scenario, who started a blog to protest that African American employees had not received any pay rise and that the CEO’s bonuses were being awarded irregularly and not attributable to sex-neutral systems. Marly can sue the company and give enough evidence on her case that the employees of Africa American descent were working under the same working conditions in the same establishment but were not receiving a pay rise in comparison with other employees of other races. It is against the law to discriminate employees on the basis of their race.

  Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act

This Act covers extensively on the types of conducts that are prohibited but may still be experienced in the place of work. Under this act, it is unlawful for any employer to discriminate an employee based on all the protected class matters that involve hiring, discharge, compensation and terms, conditions, and privileges of the employment. It is also against the federal law of employment protection for any employer to limit, segregate, or classify their employees or a job applicant in whichever way that would deny or tend to deny any individual of opportunities or that which would affect the employees or applicant’s status as employee due to membership in a protected class. (Title VII Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1964, 1964) 

In the second scenario, Mitch, a department supervisor request approval to fire his secretary who is a Hispanic, a devout catholic and for putting Right-to-life flyers in the employee break room. This is unlawful as the law prohibits employees or applicants from being discriminated against due to her membership to a protected class as the Hispanic. The law also prohibits one from being discriminated based on the religion. By firing the secretary who is a staunch catholic, the supervisor was discriminating against her due to her religion which is not advocated for in the federal employment protection laws.

It is also unlawful for any labor organization to exclude or expel its membership or otherwise discriminate against an individual because of their protected class. In addition it is unlawful to limit, segregate, or classify its membership or applicants for membership, or to classify or fail to reefer for employment any individual in any way which would deny or even tend to deny an individual of employment opportunities or would reduce an employment opportunity or otherwise affect their status as an employee or as an applicant for employment due to the individuals membership in a protected class. 

Healthy and safety act

Every worker has the right to; know about all the hazards in their place of work and have access to information, supervision and instruction on how to protect their health and safety in the workplace. Employees should participate in identifying and solving health and safety problems or through a representative of the health and safety team in the work place. They have the right to refuse work that they believe is dangerous to their health and safety of any other employee in the working place (occupational Health And Safety Act, 2012). 

James, in the fourth scenario had the right to know about the all the hazards in his place of work while working with chemicals. James too had a right to ask for compensation for the injuries he got in his liver as a result of working in a hazardous area without him knowing the effects.

The employment at will doctrine

The employment at will doctrine refers to the assumption that any employment is for an indefinite period of time and may be terminated either by the employee or the employer.  That an employee can be terminated for any reason or for no reasons. It has a number of exceptions.

Marly in the first scenario is fired for writing a blog on the racial discrimination in the company’s remuneration.  As per the exceptions in the employment doctrine, one cannot be fired for filling a compensation claim on the suffering of the other African American employees in the company where their salaries were not rising comparatively to other employees in the company

Public policy exceptions

  One of the exceptions is that an employee cannot be terminated for filling a workers compensation claim after an on the job injury or for refusing to break the law at the request of the employer. In the third scenario, Brian refused to sign a leave request for Lori for jury duties and wants to fire him for being absent without permission. In this scenario, an employee’s job cannot be termitted due to Lori refusing to break the law on Brian’s request. In the last scenario, James who has worked for a company for one year and has a rare liver disease suffers more due to the chemicals he uses at the place of work. In that regard, though the employer finds him less productive, his employment cannot be termitted due to the injuries he gets after working with chemicals that affect his health if in case he fills workers compensation claims. Marly in the first scenario is fired for writing a blog on the racial discrimination in the company’s remuneration.  As per the exceptions in the employment doctrine, one cannot be fired for filling a compensation claim on the suffering of the other African American employees in the company where their salaries were not rising comparatively to other employees in the company. (Muhl, 2001)

Implied-contract exception

This is applied when an implied contract is formed between an employer and employee even though there was no any express written instrument in regards to the kind of employment. (Muhl, 2001)

Covenant of good faith exceptions

The exception states that all terminations that are made on bad faith or malicious intent are prohibited. In the first scenario of Marly, such a case should not lead to an automatic dismissal at all.  Also in the case of Lori, he is protected as the termination was ill intended. (Muhl, 2001)

Undocumented workers in US

Undocumented workers in US are not legally allowed to work in US. The Immigration Reform Act a federal law requires employers to fully verify the employs eligibility to work in US. Heavy sanctions are imposed on the employers who might unknowingly hire unauthorized employees. 

However, a number of states in US, undocumented workers get compensated due to presence of states statutes that recognizes undocumented employees. These employees are able to get access to public benefits. In some states like Wyoming, all the undocumented employees are not able to access any compensation.  They do not recognize any person who comes to work in the state and is undocumented as an employee. 

  It is important to recognize any person who has worked at any time at a given station as an employee and he/she should enjoy all the privileges that other employees enjoy. Failing to recognize them as employees might be discriminating which is not advocated for in the Federal laws for employment protection. The National labour Relations Act allows all the workers to organize and negotiate with their employers. (Lazar, 2015). The OSHA Act also gives workers in US rights to work in a safe and healthy working place. 

References

Title VII Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1964. (1964).

Occupational Health And Safety Act. (2012).

Franklin, D. J., & Powell, C. (n.d.). AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION. Employment Discrimination Law and its Application to Common Workplace.

Lazar, W. (2015). Undocumented Immigrant Workers:Enforcing Rights. New York Law Journal.

Muhl, J. (2001). The employment-at-will doctrine:three major xceptions. Employment at will.

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