Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a bipartisan commission consisting of five members and was formed in 1964 by the Civil Rights Act (Modesitt & Nancy 1237). Its main objectives were to enforce and interpret the federal laws that prohibit discrimination. It issues regulations, administers equal chances to all federal employees, holds hearings, and ensures litigation of discrimination cases as some elements of their roles. It further accepts the charges filed by different employees, carries out the investigations surrounding the charges and mediates fair settlement between the employer and the employee. Thesis- an analysis of the formation process of EEOC, the laws it enforces, its roles in antidiscrimination laws enforcement, and some of the significant cases filed by the EEOC in relation to the Title VII.
The act illustrates that the commissioners are appointed by the President and must be confirmed by the senate. The commissioners coming from the same political parties must not be more than three and they serve five years term running the commission. The agency chairman appoints the commissions General Counsel (Modesitt & Nancy 1237). The EEOC started their operations in July 1965, a year after its enactment into laws. Several amendments on the Title VII act then followed after its formation. The first amendment was the age discrimination act in employment. Congress passed Age Discrimination in Employment Act in 1967 (ADEA) to ensure protection of those between ages of forty and sixty five years against employment discrimination. The EEOC was charged with the mandate to enforce the law.
In its attempt to increase the effectiveness of the EEOC, the Congress approved the EEOC act of 1972. The amendment gave the EEOC the opportunity to have the authority of backing up its findings and increased jurisdiction under the agency. According to Meier at al, the amendments that the decree made include litigation authority which allowed the EEOC the right to sue nongovernment respondents in cases where the acceptable reconciliation cannot be reached (175). The other is the subjecting educational institutions to EEOC which gave the agency the authority to investigate discrimination of women and minority in education fields. The third is the inclusion of local and state employees under the EEOC. The forth is subjecting the federal government to the Title VII, the federal agencies and their branches had to make their employees actions under no discrimination based on sex, color, race or religion. The last is the extension of charging duration of up to three hundred days as compared to the earlier two hundred and ten days. The charging parties had up to ninety days to file lawsuits after the EEOC drops their charges. Due to the 1972 amendments, the president appointed the General Counsel instead of the agency Chairman.
The EEOC enforces a number of federal laws that deal with antidiscrimination. With reference Modesitt and Nancy (1237), the first law is the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law prohibits discrimination at workplace and employee harassment on sex, race, color, and religion basis. The law also prevents employers from retaliating on their employees who file charges against them. The second law is the 1963 Equal Pay Act. The law requires that women and men employees are paid equally for handling equal amount of work. Thirdly is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). It eliminates discrimination on young employees and job applicants who are over forty years. The law also requires the employers to ensure equal provision of benefits to older employees. The forth law is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law protects applicants and employees with disabilities against discrimination. It ensures that the employers provide accommodates those with disabilities reasonably for their effectiveness at jobs. The last law is the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). This is the newest law on civil rights that eliminates discrimination on genetic information basis. It prohibits employers against gathering their employees genetic information without their consent.
EEOC has numerous responsibilities in carrying out its roles as the enforcer and interpreter of the antidiscrimination laws. Normally, when the Congress passes an antidiscrimination law, it is the EEOC which issue regulations interpreting the law. The regulations establish enforcement procedures of the employee rights, definition of major terms, and making the law more understandable for both the employers and the employees. Combining with the regulatory functions, the agency holds hearings concerning the public comments that seem to be touching the key discrimination issues.
The EEOC administers the EEO compliance process within the federal government. An employee in the federal government with a complaint to file in relation to harassment, retaliation or racial discrimination is allowed to complain to the EEO office within the agency. The EEO process and investigates the complaint further. A hearing presided over by the law judge is carried out and outcome determined (Gutman et al 76). If the given employee is dissatisfied he or she has the choice of appealing to the special office of the EEOC.
The enforcement role of the EEOC is so broad and involves the initial step of taking discrimination charges from the applicants and employees. The agency has the power to take a number of actions after receiving the complaint charges (Gutman et al 76). The actions include dismissing the charge in cases where it has no jurisdiction, investigating the charge by interviewing of witnesses and collecting the information form the employee and the employer. The other action is issuing a finding that either supports the existence or the absence of the cause. It then attempts the mediation of a settlement between the employer and the employee. The final action is the litigation of the charges on behalf of the employee, this is usually very rare.
The centerpiece of Five Point Plan of EEOC is the promotion of the mediation use and expanding alternative dispute resolutions. According to Tamayo and William (1075), the plans elements are proactive prevention, proficient resolution, promotion of mediation use, litigation and strategic enforcement, and ensuring that EEOC is a model workplace. The resolve program give mediation as the alternative dispute resolution process to traditional resolutions for instance EEO complaint process and grievance procedures that are negotiated. If a given employee chooses the resolve program in dispute resolution, the first step of negotiated procedure of the grievance is suspended while mediation is applied.
Mediation in this case is the informal process where a trained mediator helps the two parties reach a workplace resolution. The mediator does not pick sides and has no power to impose the final agreement. The main work of the mediator is to reconcile the two conflicting parties through exploration of their differences. The EEOC has committed its mandate to the use of resolve program to ensure fair and quick resolutions to the disputes raised by the parties. The resolve program use is beneficial to the employees, managers, and supervisors. This is because it enables faster resolution of disputes and is less costly since they are no legal fees charged (Tamayo &William 1075). In addition, further complaints are eliminated since both parties have the opportunity to communicate well among themselves.
Significant Title VII cases filed
In enforcement of the Title VII color and race discrimination prohibition, the agency EEOC has managed to file, adjudicate, and resolve many cases since it was formed. Most of the cases are geared towards creating a discrimination free workplace in the 21st century. They include; March 2015, Texas gas and oil drilling Company settled $12.26million for EEOCs discrimination, retaliation, and harassment case against minority races nationwide (Modesitt & Nancy 1237). According to the case filed, Patterson UTI engaged in desperate treatment, discrimination, retaliation, and harassment of the Black, Latino, Asian, Hispanic, and American Indian workers at its facilities in Colorado and several other states. The four-year decree consent directed the Company to create a new post of the vice president which was filed by the EEO qualified personnel mandated to monitor the companys compliance and give reports.
The second case is the January 2015, on the building contractor named Skanska Building, Inc. The Company paid $95,000 to settle the harassment, retaliation, and racial case presented by EEOC (Gutman et al 77). According to the lawsuit Skanska violated federal laws by subjecting the black class of employees to harassment due to their race by firing them when they complained of misconduct at workplace. The incidents of the lawsuit occurred during the time Skanska was the general contractor in Memphis Children Hospital
The other case filed was in November 2010, Battaglia Corporation was forced to pay $735,000 to its African-American employees (Gutman et al 78). In the case, it was alleged by the EEOC that the Corporation allowed race-based workplace environment where the African- American employees were subjected to racial slurs. The corporation was also subjected with the training of its managers on Title VII and give comprehensive and consistent reports to the EEOC on complaints it gets from the employees.
Another case was filed on October 2010 involving Prestige Transportation Service. This is a company based in Miami and provide personnel airline services. The company paid $200,000 to settle their retaliation and discrimination case (Modesitt & Nancy 1237). The EEOC alleged that the Airbus Alliance Inc., which is the airlines predecessor instructed their human resource manager not to higher African-American employees.
In September of 2009, U-Haul Company was forced to pay $750.000 to a number of African-America employees and additional provision of relief for its Black employees due to the retaliation and racial discrimination case filed by EEOC (Modesitt & Nancy 1238). According to the case file, the black employees suffered racial slurs by the white supervisors. The EEOC illustrated that the supervisors occasionally referred to the Blacks with the N word plus other slurs which are derogatory in nature. The complaint further accused the company of engaging in retaliation by firing of the employees of raise the complaints.
In conclusion, due to the intensity of the cases handled by the EEOC, the amendments and the intense process of determining its members is necessary. The involvement of the president and the senate in the agency formation is an obvious indication of how sensitive the agency is and its priceless importance to all employees in the states. The resolve program established by the EEOC which majors on mediation process is very essential in the current world where time management is of great essence. The cases that have already been filed by the EEOC act as clear indications of the agencys competency in dealing with discrimination issues in different work environments.
Gutman, A., Koppes, L. L., & Vodanovich, S. J. (2010). EEO law and personnel practices. Psychology Press.
Meier, Kenneth J., Michael S. Pennington, and Warren S. Eller. "Race, sex, and Clarence Thomas: Representation change in the EEOC." Public Administration Review 65.2 (2005): 171-179.
Modesitt, Nancy M. "Reinventing the EEOC." SMUL Rev. 63 (2010): 1237.
Tamayo, William R. "Role of the EEOC in Protecting the Civil Rights of Farm Workers, The." UC Davis L. Rev. 33 (1999): 1075.
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