Recently, the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) published new rulings and guidelines regarding discrimination based on national origin and sexual orientation which will be welcome clarifications to those still struggling for recognition. Read how the latest EEOC rulings focus on gay rights, employee relations and national origin discrimination, and the effect this has on your workplace.
National Origin Discrimination Guidelines
As the world faces an unprecedented diaspora of refugees all seeking somewhere new to lay down roots, it’s important for varied cultures to have guidelines to work effectively together. The new EEOC National Origin Discrimination Guidelines seek to help in this area.
These enforcement guidelines have been in place since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but have recently been updated for today’s unique issues that reflect a number of recent rulings:
– On November 15, 2016, the EEOC filed a claim regarding a temp agency discriminating against Latino employees, as well as failing to abide by ADA accommodation requirements.
– In April 2016, the commission settled a claim against a food company which allegedly practiced discrimination against African-American and non-Hispanic applicants.
– In February 2016, the commission reached settlement in a sexual harassment case against female Mexican employees, which included charges of attempted rape.
It’s important to note, however, that an additional problem is the sheer range of false claims issued—nearly 70 percent of the cases filed were dismissed by the EEOC without reasonable cause to pursue, and about half of the remaining cases were closed due to administrative and communications issues.
Gay Rights Issues
Another landmark EEOC ruling filed in December 2016 deals with gay rights. An air traffic controller sued the FAA for discrimination based on sexual orientation in October 2015. The ruling took over a year to achieve, but in the end, the EEOC not only accepted the filing, but agreed that the sex discrimination provision of the 1964 Civil Rights Act extends to employees working for government as well as private agencies. This ruling is a major step forward for LGBTQ rights.
In fact, not only did the lawsuit succeed, but the federal government never even filed a motion to dismiss, and it didn’t appeal the ruling by the EEOC. While the suit doesn’t have the weight of setting legal precedent, it can form an important and persuasive argument in future cases.
We live in a world where employee relations and equal rights are hot issues, perhaps more so than any time since the 1960s. In the midst of this struggle for employee relations, equality and the effort to overcome discrimination, the EEOC continues to stand as an important force fighting for these issues. The most important part of maintaining best practices is having a strong HR department in place.
The world of human resources is ever changing and we need to be prepared to change with it. If you are looking for the very best in human resources consultation, outsourcing and leadership training and services, QuadWest is here to help. Read about our employee relations services, and get in touch with us today to discover how we can improve your leadership skills and staff engagement for a new era.
Are you compliant with the latest EEOC rulings and guidelines?