Laborlaws are meant to ensure that employee needs are safeguarded at alltimes. Further, they are meant to ensure that equality and equity areattained. However, some employees resort to dubious ways ofemployment oblivious of the existing legal regulations. For example,some organizations opt to employee on the premise of beauty, while itmay be difficult to proof the illegality of such practices they canbe depicted as unethical. On the other hand there are some practicesthat can be termed as illegal. For example, situations whereemployers recruit on the premise of gender, race, religion, or colorare illegal. Such employers can be prosecuted and compelled to adhereby the laws. At times, aligning to the labor legal provisions doesnot only prevent unnecessary lawsuits, but can be a strategic move ofrecruiting.
Part#1: Dimensions Healthcare System to Pay $125,000 to Settle EEOC Sexand Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit
Thearticle talks about a scenario exhibited by Baltimore – DimensionsHealthcare System which is one of the largest non-profit healthcareorganizations in the region. In the lawsuit submitted by EEOC, thecompany was sued for wrongfully promoting a male employee at theexpense of a female employee. Cassandra was an employee at theorganization for a period of about seven years. Throughout hercareer, she had exhibited phenomenal performance and had attained aleadership position. Moreover, she was more qualified as opposed toher male colleague. According to the vice president, the company hadconsidered promoting Cassandra Crawford, but she was on maternityleave and they opted for a male colleague who was less qualified.Management’s action to promote a less qualified candidate isprohibited in title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Further, thePregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) amended Title VII protects womenwho take maternity leaves from discrimination ("DimensionsHealthcare System to Pay $125,000 to Settle EEOC Sex and PregnancyDiscrimination Lawsuit", 2016). Essentially, the action topromote a less qualified employee on the premise of a maternity leaveis illegal and this is why Dimensions Healthcare system was fined atotal of $125,000.
Accordingthe EEOC and the Bureau of statistics about 57% of women participatein the labor market according to the data collected in 2016. Thestatistics go on to illustrate that there has been a continued growthof women in the labor market. Just like other parts of the world, theU.S. also exhibits a gender gap of about 30% in employment. Accordingto EEOC, about 24% of CEOs in the U.S. are women and this brings intoperspective the high level of gender discrimination even in thedeveloped nations ("Charge Statistics", 2017). Genderdiscrimination lawsuits in the U.S. in 2016 stood at about 29.4% ascompared to 29.5% in 2015. In fact, between 2013 and 2016, thelawsuits were less than 30% as compared to previous periods 1997 to2012 where the average was about 30% of the total labor relatedlawsuits.
Thearticle shows the consequences of failing to adhere to the laborlegal provisions. Every HR professional needs to adhere to thestipulated laws. The consequences of not following the properchannels in staffing impact not only the performance of organizationsbut also their credibility in the employment market (Phillips, &Gully, 2015). The declining sex discrimination shows that more isbeing done to avoid unnecessary lawsuits. Organizations are learningthat following the right procedures is both a strategic move as wellas an approach of enhancing credibility and avoiding unnecessarylawsuits. In addition, the filing illustrate that more still needs tobe done to improve performance and relationships between HRprofessionals and the employees. Therefore, it is paramount for everyemployer to restructure his/her recruitment policies to align to theexisting legal framework.
Part#2: Affirmative Action
Affirmativeaction also known by different names as employment equity,reservation, and positive discrimination is a policy that was coinedas a measure of giving priority or favoring members from the minoritygroups who have over time been discriminated against because of theappearance, culture, race, or gender (Phillips, & Gully, 2015).Most often, these people are disadvantaged because of their history,for example slavery. The support for affirmative action in the globaljob market is meant to achieve such improvements as bridging the gapbetween inequalities in the employment sector, ensuring equal pay,enhancing access to education, and promoting diversity in general.Moreover, affirmative action is meant to protect the plight of theminorities or disadvantaged people in the society.
Affirmativeaction was first endorsed by President J.F. Kennedy in hispresidential Executive Order No. 10925. The basis for establishingthe order was inclined towards creating a free and fair society byfavoring the minorities who had been sidelined for a long time.Similarly, in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson also issued an ExecutiveOrder No. 11246 which focused on building diverse organizationsespecially in governmental parastatals. In both executive orders,there was a foundation of giving priority to the minorities andensuring that the recruitment process was not anchored in race,color, religion, or gender. In order to build on the campaign ofbuilding an equal society, in 1967, gender was recognized as ananti-discriminatory factor. Therefore, affirmative action commencedas a presidential decree to prevent discrimination against theminorities and since then it has grown to ensure that nodiscriminations occur on the premise of gender, race or color.
Affirmativeaction provides a platform for organizations to create diverse teams.Focusing on diversity provides businesses with the ability to adaptto different market conditions and improve their level ofperformance. Further, affirmative action enhances increasedopportunities and long term growth in businesses (Phillips, &Gully, 2015). Similarly, it creates moral commitments organizationsthat follow affirmative action are able to deal with issues ofdiscrimination in their recruitment process.
Strictadherence to affirmative action can create reverse discrimination.Focusing on the minorities in the society will tend to leave out themajorities who may have superior qualifications (Phillips, &Gully, 2015). At the same time, affirmative action can create socialstigmatization. In situations where some people are given priority inthe workplace, other people may question their credibility and whythey are favored, such questions and inquiries will createuncomfortable work environment for some employees.
Inmy opinion, there is a need to take affirmative action in therecruitment process. Currently, most organizations in the U.S. havenot adopted recruitment programs based on diversity and equity.Therefore, the solution to addressing the employment gaps is theadoption of affirmative action. Further, presently minorities are notfully absorbed in the job market and most of them tend to work in lowpaying positions as cleaners or maintenance persons and this isdespite their levels of qualifications (Phillips, & Gully, 2015).Thus, in a bid to counter the challenges of employment in the modernsociety, there is a need for organizations to take affirmative actionto build a diversified workplace.
Part#3: Bases of Employment Lawsuits
Differencebetween Disparate Treatment and Adverse Treatment
Disparatetreatment can be termed as an intentional discrimination based onprotected characteristics. On the other hand, adverse impact denotesa situation where an action has disproportionate effects on protectedgroups not considering the intentions of the employers (Phillips, &Gully, 2015). A good example of a case that illustrates adverseimpact is the case of Griggsv. Duke Power Co.In relation to adverse impact, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 preventsemployers from basing their judgment on test scores or other testsbuilt on the premise of protected characteristics.
Inthe case, Abercrombie & Fitch focusses on the recruitment ofmarketing personnel taking into consideration their looks. This is agood example of beauty bias recruitment exercise (Guarino, 2013).Analyzing the recruitment exercise based on the Stock Statisticschart adopted by the company that compares the percentages of men,women, and minorities employed as marketers, the conclusion is thatthe company will be outside the legal framework. The argument isbased on the selection of the white male and female candidates basedon looks and not qualifications. In this case applications of Blacksor Hispanics may not be considered.
Theflow statistics chart provides a comparison of the percentage ofprospective employees hired from different subgroups in a bid todetermine the difference. There is no doubt that if Abercrombie &Fitch adopts the recruitment framework, it will deny applicationsfrom other races. Moreover, whites who may not be categorized asbeautiful/handsome may not get the chance to work as marketingprofessionals regardless of their academic and professionalqualifications. Therefore, based on the flow statistics, the companywill be undertaking an illegal recruitment exercise that can bechallenged in a court of law. Concentration statistics offerscomparison of the percentage of men, women or minorities in a givenjob category in an organization. Abercrombie & Fitch is onlygoing for specific white males and females. The recruitment planadopted by the company is not in line with the equity and equalityprovisions.
Waysto Reduce Discrimination in Employment
Thefirst step that Abercrombie & Fitch needs to take is to become anequal employment opportunity company by using a recruitment planbased on neutral looks. All candidates must be treated equally andgauged on their abilities and performance and not on their looks.Another step that the company needs to adopt is taking an affirmativeaction plan which will be instituted to describe in detail actions tobe taken, procedures to follow, and the standards to adhere to in theestablishment of an affirmative action program. Further, the companyneeds to follow the legal provisions, and adhere to the EEOC’s beststaffing practices.
Employeesare the driving engines of organizations and if not properlymaintained and recruited, then performance will be impaired in thelong run. In the current society, there are still numerous cases ofdiscrimination on based on race, gender, color, or religion. The highnumber of such cases calls for the adoption of an affirmative actionto ensure that equity is attained in the recruitment process.Similarly, organizations need to adhere to the EEOC best practices intheir recruitment. Finally, diversity is the key to growth anddevelopment, and if an organization wants to attain diversity it muststructure its employment plan to consider qualifications as opposedto looks, race, color, or religion.
ChargeStatistics.(2017). Eeoc.gov.Retrieved 23 March 2017, fromhttps://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/charges.cfm
DimensionsHealthcare System to Pay $125,000 to Settle EEOC Sex and PregnancyDiscrimination Lawsuit.(2016). Eeoc.gov.Retrieved 23 March 2017, fromhttps://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-20-16b.cfm
Guarino,M. (2013). Abercrombie& Fitch: What`s wrong with selling just to `cool people`?TheChristian Science Monitor.Retrieved 23 March 2017, fromhttp://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2013/0523/Abercrombie-Fitch-What-s-wrong-with-selling-just-to-cool-people
Phillips,J., & Gully, S. (2015). Strategicstaffing (3rded.). Boston: Pearson.