Managing a Complaint and Diverse Workforce.
Managing a Complaint and Diverse Workforce.
Discrimination of the employees or job applicants can lead to heavy fines on the employers, in addition to other negative impacts such as loss of reputation and high workers’ turnover rates. In some cases, organizations face lawsuits due to the failure to adopt measures to prevent discriminatory practices by the leaders and employees. Thus, employers need to avoid lawsuits by taking the necessary proactive measures. In this regard, this paper explains when plaintiffs can successfully make claims for harassment and violation of employment laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), FMLA, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Also, the paper explains when discrimination based on religion can be allowed under the bona fide occupation qualification doctrine Managing a Complaint and Diverse Workforce.
Effects of Workplace Harassment on Equal Employment Opportunity
Workplace harassment adversely affects equal employment opportunities in various ways. If the harassment involves outright discrimination, it may include denying the targeted employees jobopportunities. For instance, a woman can be rejected promotional opportunities by a leader in an organization because of refusing to give sexual favors (EEOC 2020). The harassment also affects equal job opportunities through adverse effects on the mental health of the targeted employees (EEOC 2020). Consequently, the affected employees may be unable to meet the targeted or required targets due to issues caused by the harassment, such as psychological discomfort and absenteeism (EEOC 2020). Ultimately, the affected employees may not benefit from organizational rewards for good performance, such as bonuses and gifts. The harassment cab culminates in the loss of jobs by the targeted persons. Also, the harassment may cause health problems requiring spending on treatment or significant healthcare providers’ support, such as high blood pressure, anxiety, and ulcers Managing a Complaint and Diverse Workforce.
In the harassment claim, an employee must show at least four elements. First, the employee must show that the issue raised is a characteristic protected under Title VII. The characteristics protected include genetic information, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, race, and sex (Sglickman, 2021). The second element is that the harassment behavior or conduct should be severe or offensive. For the behavior to be considered extreme, it must change or threaten to change the working conditions of the victim. Simple teasing, for instance, is not regarded as severe harassment behavior. Conversely, constant abusive language to a person of a different gender is considered to be too offensive behavior (Sglickman, 2021). The third element is that the conduct in question must be unwelcome to the targeted persons. The last feature is establishing whether there is an employer’s liability for the harassment actions or negligence Managing a Complaint and Diverse Workforce.
An organization can undertake several steps to avoid risks or liability for harassment claims. The first step is to express commitment through cultivating a culture that does not tolerate harassment. Such a culture would influence the employees and leaders to avoid engagement in acts of harassment (DecisionHR, 2017). The second step is to establish firm policies prohibiting harassment and indicating the actions to be taken against the culprits. The guidelines should include examples of harassment behaviors and activities, and all employees and leaders should be required to learn and internalize them. A third important step is establishing an effective reporting process for harassment claims (DecisionHR, 2017). Fourth, an organization should develop effective investigative procedures to be applied to all reported harassment cases. The fifth step is to indicate in writing and inform all relevant stakeholders about the actions taken to retaliation tactics by the harassment culprits (DecisionHR, 2017). The last step is offering adequate training to the employees and leaders about harassment, its impacts, and why and how it should be avoided Managing a Complaint and Diverse Workforce.
Reasonable Accommodation of Disability
Under the ADA, employers are prohibited from discriminating against workers due to disabilities. Title 1 of the Act requires employers to establish accommodations meant to facilitate employees with disabilities on a person-to-person basis. According to the law, capacity is any adjustments or changes that would enable working with an employee despite having a disability(ODEP, 2020). In addition to facilitating the successful performance of specific jobs, the accommodations are meant to ensure that disabled persons have equal employment opportunities during recruitment with other candidates. The ADA requires employers to establish accommodations in three main aspects. The first is the accommodations meant to facilitate the equal chance of being hired during recruitment irrespective of having a disability (ODEP, 2020). Second, the employers must make accommodations to ensure the disabled persons can undertake the essential tasks of the assigned job positions. Third, employers are required to use the accommodations to ensure that they provide disabled employees with opportunities to enjoy equal privileges and benefits with other workers (ODEP, 2020). According to the ADA, the accommodations should benefit all employees with similar needs and should not be perceived or designed as special treatment. Examples of such accommodations are changing policies, training materials and tests, equipment modification, job restructuring, enhancing accessibility of existing facilities, modifying the workplace layout, and installing a ramp Managing a Complaint and Diverse Workforce.
A plaintiff filing for lack of disability accommodation must show at least three elements. First, the employee should prove that they have a disability limiting everyday participation in at least one significant life activity. The major life activities considered include working, communicating, walking, standing, reaching, thinking, sleeping, sitting, eating, hearing, seeing, speaking, doing manual tasks, and taking care of oneself (Employee Rights Attorney Group, 2018). Second, the employee must show that they are qualified for the targeted position or the job tasks they are prevented from doing. A disabled person, for instance, cannot be convincing when claiming to be discriminated against for an accounting job, yet he does not have background knowledge in the discipline. Third, the plaintiff should prove that they can undertake the tasks associated with the targeted job without accommodation. Last, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant refused or failed to put reasonable accommodations that would facilitate working by the disabled person or took an adverse action due to the disability status of the plaintiff (Employee Rights Attorney Group, 2018). The plaintiff should show that they made efforts to request the necessary accommodations, but the employer failed to provide them.
Religious Advocacy/Harassment and Bona Fide Occupational Qualification
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 stipulates that employers should not engage in discriminative practices due to consideration of employees’ or job applicants’ religion, among other aspects. However, discrimination is allowed when the employer provides proof of reliance on bona fide occupational qualification (EEOC, 2021). The bona fide occupational qualification doctrine requires the employees to prove that discrimination based on religion, nationality, and sex is necessary to facilitate everyday operations of the assigned jobs (EEOC, 2021). When relying on the principle, therefore, churches promoting individual faith can refuse to hire candidates from other religions. For instance, a job position may involve only teaching students about the Christian bible. In such a case, the employer can discriminate by targeting Christians as the only qualified candidates. Similarly, the task may involve teaching students about Muslim Faith. In that case, the employer is allowed to discriminate by not hiring Christians Managing a Complaint and Diverse Workforce.
FMLA and Pregnancy Discrimination Act
Both the FMLA and thePDA define employers’ responsibilities in granting leave to eligible or deserving employees. The FMLA stipulates that the employers must give leave to the employees for up to 12 weeks annually for various reasons, including birth, caring for a close family member or a for a newborn child, medical treatment or checkups, and placement for foster care or adoption of a child(U.S. Department of Labor, 2020). The Act states that workers are eligible to work with the employer for at least 12 months. The PDA stipulates that the employees should not discriminate against workers due to childbirth, pregnancy, and medical conditions related to such processes. The discrimination includes refusing to grant leave to women with such situations and other employment aspects, including training, promotions, hiring, job assignments, and pay (U.S. Department of Labor, 2020). The Act stipulates that the employer should provide accommodations such as those of the disabled persons to the pregnant women who cannot continue performing their duties.
The employers can make mistakes violating the FLA, hence landing them in court. One of the errors is adopting an adverse action against an employee after returning from FMLA leave. For instance, an employer may have replaced the employee with a different one after leaving due to necessity. After returning, the employer can then decide to demote the employee and cut their salary (Rapid Learning Institute, 2010). Such a mistake would violate the FMLA, and the employer would be liable for a fine. The employer should strive to reinstate the employee in a similar position and salary as before the leave. Another possible mistake is disclosing confidential information about the medical condition of the worker seeking leave (Rapid Learning Institute, 2010). The supervisor or other leader responsible for granting leave can come across sensitive or confidential medical information of a worker and then decide to share it with other employees or leaders. Such an act can lead to a lawsuit against the leaders involved or employers Managing a Complaint and Diverse Workforce.
Employers should take the necessary measures to avoid mistakes that can lead to discrimination lawsuits. As explained, the first approach is to prevent discrimination based on any aspect protected under Title VIII or ADA or any other law. If racism is necessary, the employers should ensure that they are operating under established laws, such as the bonafideoccupation qualifications doctrine. Acquiring knowledge about the applicable regulations helps facilitate the taking of proactive actions to avoid lawsuits.
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