Numerous federal, state, and local laws prohibit employment discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Equal Pay Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prohibit employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, and the use genetic information in all facets of the employment relationship. Many state and local laws expand the scope of Title VII and prohibit employment discrimination based upon such additional categories as sexual orientation or preference and marital status. Executive Order 11246 prohibits employment discrimination by federal contractors and subcontractors and the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 prohibits employment discrimination based on citizenship. The number of discrimination charges filed for fiscal year 2017 reached 84,254 claims. Retaliation charges from all statutes were again the most numerous charges. The percent of charges based on disability and color also increased. The cost of employment discrimination can be substantial. For fiscal year 2017 the EEOC announced that it secured more than $300 million in monetary relief through its private sector administrative enforcement, which includes mediation, settlements, and withdrawals with benefits. Of this amount, more than $35 million came from investigations and conciliations of systemic charges of discrimination. Non-complying employers face discrimination charges that include remedies of reinstatement, back pay, injunctions, and, in some cases, fines, and attorneys’ fees. The 1991 amendments to Title VII included the right to a jury trial in cases of intentional discrimination and for awards of compensatory and punitive damages up to $300,000 — depending on the size of the employer — in addition to the equitable remedies mentioned above. Equally important, court decisions and settlement agreements frequently result in the loss of managerial prerogatives to make hiring, firing, and other employment decisions, require organizations to conduct specified training programs, and impose a third-party observer to monitor compliance. Thus, employers have a specific need to ensure compliance.
In today’s workplace, human capital has become for many organizations the single most important determinant of competitiveness, productivity, sustainability, and profitability. Increasingly, the organization’s human capital is the source of innovation and a driver of business success. Human capital also represents significant potential liability, and the list of protected classes of employees is growing. As noted, companies can ill-afford to make “extraordinary mistakes”. Managerial and supervisory responsibilities require more than just getting the job done.The actions your organization takes directly affect employee commitment and engagement, morale and productivity, and employee retention. Importantly, they also play a critical role in EEO compliance and can expose your organization to significant liabilities. As governmental agencies have become more active — some would argue more aggressive — and have committed more resources to conducting assessments of employment policies and practices, organizations are at risk. As the EEOC has noted, employers should not only comply with the various laws, they should conduct self-assessments and audit their practices to ensure ongoing compliance. Unfortunately, without ongoing training, even organizations with the best intentions, frequently make mistakes — often, costly ones. This webinar is designed to help your organization identify key workplace discrimination issues and help supervisors and managers manage effectively and lawfully manage these issues. As a result, your organization will reduce its exposure to employment related discrimination claims.