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William Kritsonis, Law, Ch 4 Discrimination Employment


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Title: William Kritsonis, Law, Ch 4 Discrimination Employment

Discrimination in Employment
  • William Allan Kritsonis, PhD

Introductory Reflection
  • "My knowledge of my years in Ecuador was not
    enough to prepare myself to understand who I will
    become in the United States a minority in a
    country full of laws and contradictions. I
    married a good man who alleviated the inevitable
    consequences of my heavy accent and skin color.
    How? My husband is what you will call Hispanic by
    race, but white by skin and appearance. As a
    result, I found myself in a dilemma when a doctor
    let me choose if I wanted my child to be label
    Hispanic or White

What is Discrimination?
  • In plain English, to "discriminate" means to
    distinguish, single out, or make a distinction.
    In everyday life, when faced with more than one
    option, we discriminate in arriving at almost
    every decision we make. But in the context of
    civil rights law, unlawful discrimination refers
    to unfair or unequal treatment of an individual
    (or group) based on certain characteristics.
    There are two types of discrimination Direct and

Types of Discrimination
  • Direct discrimination
  • An example of direct discrimination is a job
    advert, which says "no disabled people need
    apply." However, in reality discrimination often
    takes more subtle forms. Thats why indirect
    discrimination is also covered.
  • Indirect discrimination
  • An example of indirect discrimination is
    requiring all people who apply for a certain job
    to sit a test in a particular language, even
    though that language is not necessary for the
    job. The test might exclude more people who have
    a different mother tongue.

Title VII, 1964 Civil Rights Act
  • This law prohibits employment discrimination
    based on
  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National Origin

Age Discrimination In Employment Act of 1967
  • Protects employees or applicants 40 years of
    age or older
  • Cannot discriminate based on age with respect to
    any term, condition or privilege of employment
  • Punitive compensatory damages

Civil Rights Act 1972 Amendment
  • Sexual harassment is a
  • Form of sex discrimination
  • Violation of federal law

Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
  • Amendment to Civil Rights Act
  • Unlawful to discriminate on the basis of
    pregnancy, childbirth or related medical

Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Prohibits discrimination on the basis of
    disability in all employment practices
  • Employer must make accommodation to known
    disability of qualified applicant or employee
    unless it imposes undue hardship

Affirmative Action
  • The intended purpose of Affirmative Action is
    to increase the opportunity for minority groups
  • You do not take a person bring him up to the
    starting line of a race and say, 'you are free to
    compete with all the others,' and still justly
    believe that you have been completely fair.
    President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965

Employment Discrimination U.S. Supreme Court
  • Below is a list of U.S. Supreme Court cases
    involving employees' rights and employment
    discrimination, including links to the full text
    of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
  • Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (1971) In this case, the
    Court decided that certain education requirements
    and intelligence tests used as conditions of
    employment acted to exclude African-American job
    applicants, did not relate to job performance,
    and were prohibited.

Employment Discrimination U.S. Supreme Court
  • Cleveland Bd. of Ed. V. LaFleur (1974) Found that
    Ohio public school mandatory maternity leave
    rules for pregnant teachers violate
    constitutional guarantees of due process.
  • Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (1986) Found that
    a claim of "hostile environment" sexual
    harassment is a form of sex discrimination that
    may be brought under Title VII of the Civil
    Rights Act of 1964.

Employment Discrimination U.S. Supreme Court
  • Johnson v. Transportation Agency (1987) The Court
    decides that a county transportation agency
    appropriately took into account an employee's sex
    as one factor in determining whether she should
    be promoted.
  • Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Serv., Inc.
    (1987) In this case, the Court held that sex
    discrimination consisting of same-sex sexual
    harassment can form the basis for a valid claim
    under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Employment Discrimination U.S. Supreme Court
  • Burlington Industries, Inc. Ellerth
    (1998) Holding that an employee who refuses
    unwelcome and threatening sexual advances of a
    supervisor (but suffers no real job consequences)
    may recover against the employer without showing
    the employer is at fault for the supervisor's
  • Faragher v. City of Boca Raton (1998) The Court
    decides that an employer may be liable for sexual
    discrimination caused by a supervisor, but
    liability depends on the reasonableness of the
    employer's conduct, as well as the reasonableness
    of the plaintiff victim's conduct.

The Necessity of Continued Enforcement of the Laws
  • Many people in this country still, unfortunately,
    are opposed to the ideal of equality
  • Any lack of enforcement of these laws gives more
    power to such people
  • Although progress in achieving equality has been
    made due to the laws, true equality has not yet
    been reached, and can only be attained through
    further diligence.

Civil Rights Act of 1991
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1991 made major changes
    in the federal laws against employment
    discrimination enforced by EEOC. Enacted in part
    to reverse several Supreme Court decisions that
    limited the rights of persons protected by these
    laws, the Act also provides additional
    protections. The Act authorizes compensatory and
    punitive damages in cases of intentional
    discrimination, and provides for obtaining
    attorneys' fees and the possibility of jury
    trials. It also directs the EEOC to expand its
    technical assistance and outreach activities.

What Is EEOC and How Does It Operate?
  • EEOC is an independent federal agency originally
    created by Congress in 1964 to enforce Title VII
    of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Commission
    is composed of five Commissioners and a General
    Counsel appointed by the President and confirmed
    by the Senate. Commissioners are appointed for
    five-year staggered terms the General Counsel's
    term is four years. The President designates a
    Chair and a Vice-Chair. The Chair is the chief
    executive officer of the Commission. The
    Commission has authority to establish equal
    employment policy and to approve litigation. The
    General Counsel is responsible for conducting
  • EEOC carries out its enforcement, education and
    technical assistance activities through 50 field
    offices serving every part of the nation.
  • The nearest EEOC field office may be contacted by
    calling 1-800-669-4000 (voice) or 1-800-669-6820

The answer
  • I chose the Hispanic label for my children. I
    realized that labels are merely justifications to
    our own fears.
  • "An individual has not started living until he
    can rise above the narrow confines of his
    individualistic concerns to the broader concerns
    of all humanity.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
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