An important concept for employers, employees, and job applicants is equal employment opportunity. What is equal employment opportunity? It is an employment practice in which employers do not engage in employment activities prohibited by the law. Employers cannot discriminate against the applicant or the employee because it is illegal. The discrimination of:
- National origin
It is strictly prohibited by the law and should be implemented in every workplace.
It means that everyone should be treated fairly when they are considered for various employment decisions.
However, the employment discrimination laws’ policy will be examining the overall aim of the policy, summed up by the phrase called equal opportunity. However, these laws do not aim to create similar outcomes but instead lookout to ensure equal opportunities for all the employees or the job applicants. All the employees and job applicants should have an equal opportunity to engage in the employment market. Certain classes of people who have been discriminated against in the past are not subjected to adverse treatment upon individual characteristics. In short, these laws level up the playing field so that such people can get qualified for the job anywhere in the world.
Employment Laws for Anti-Discrimination:
Some laws were set up to stop discrimination in the workplace. The anti-discrimination employment laws and policies in the US have their foundation in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to Title VII law, certain discriminatory practices illegal, such as race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The rule applies to private employers employing 15 or more employees, laborers, unions, and employment agencies. The Civil Rights Act also helped in creating the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It is charged with the enforcement of federal anti-discrimination employment laws.
Title VII helps in protecting employees or applicants from getting discriminated against in many employment activities, such as:
- Other employment terms, conditions, and privileges.
- Retaliation, in which adverse action is taken because an applicant or the employee asserted rights under Title VII. It can also be participating in an EEOC proceeding, such as testifying and assisting such a case,
- Pre-employment inquiries and requirements. It means nothing should be required, which tends to disclose a protected characteristic under Title VII.
- Religious practices, which do not impose an undue hardship on an employer.
Occupational qualification Bonafide:
Equal employment opportunity has some concerns protected, which has some exceptions. These exceptions are bona fide qualifications of the same employment opportunity definition. However, the nature of many jobs can allow you to make an employment decision based on one of the protected characteristics.
Here is an example:
- If you want to hire an actor to play a teenager’s role, you can hire a person more closely to the film character’s age rather than a middle-aged character.
- A company can hire any other person than the models for their clothing brand.
- A religious organization hires people with the same belief and not an outsider. However, it is acceptable in one way or another.
Then comes another case where considering specific protected characteristics comes. It comes in affirmative action, which says the conscious, proactive pursuit of gender balance and the diversity in an organization held by supporting the protected groups. These are the groups, which are traditionally discriminating against.
Here is an example:
If your team of software development has all white males, you can lawfully partner with associations of females, either African or Asians, to find a great candidate and make a representative team. However, it would help if you did not make any final hiring decision because of the person’s protected characteristics. You can broaden your talent by attracting diverse candidates.
This logic applies to the programs that support affirmative action through education. Generating new programs and introducing them to combat hidden biases of hiring teams effectively reduces unconscious discrimination.
However, race-based affirmative action was banned in some US states; still, the road is opened for other effective equal employment opportunity strategies.
Equal employment opportunity to be extended beyond the law:
Working in the same workplace with too many differences causes a different kind of chaos and hurdle. EEO should be extended beyond the law so everyone can come in front and make their space.