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Why do I need to know this stuff • When the person decides to file a lawsuit against an organization, they frequently also sue all of the directors, managers, and anyone who has a role in the adverse decision. • Remember, you are an agent of your organization, and you can be sued and held personally liable for discrimination.
Your Responsibilities • As the organization’s representative, it is your responsibility to explain the organization’s policies and procedures and make decisions about services. • Therefore, you must explain and apply these policies and procedures in a non-discriminatory manner.
Equal Employment • Federal, state, and local laws prohibit discrimination in employment practices. • These laws require supervisors to make employment decisions without regard to an individual’s membership in a wide variety of protected groups, such as age, race, religion, or sex.
Remember • Virtually every applicant, employee, or former employee is protected from discrimination based on their membership in one or more protected groups.
Civil Rights Act of 1964(Title VII) • Title VII prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. • Applies to all private sector employers with 15 or more employees. • In 1978 Title VII was amended to include prohibiting discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
What is Employment Discrimination? • Occurs when subjective decisions are made about people in the workplace. • These decisions can be made in: • Hiring and promotions • Discipline and termination • Assigning work and responsibilities • Training, coaching, and counseling • Establishing terms and conditions of employment • Establishing privileges associated with employment
Types of Employment Discrimination • There are three major types of employment discrimination. • Disparate Treatment • Disparate Impact • Retaliation • Remember employment decisions must be based on job related objective information.
Disparate Treatment • Disparate treatment is intentional • Can occur when • A person is treated differently from others • The different treatment is based on that person’s race, color, sex, religion, national origin, or another protected category. • The different treatment is intentional
Example You are interviewing Bob and Beth for an open position. Your first interview is with Bob. You ask him 10 job-related questions. Bob provides good answers and you consider him to be a strong candidate. When Bob leaves, Beth comes in for her interview. You ask Beth the same ten questions you asked Beth an 11th question, “do you have any children?”
Question Could your question to Beth be considered disparate treatment?
Analysis Clearly, you treated Beth differently than you treated Bob. You asked her the question to get her answer. The implication is that you wanted the answer to help you decide which candidate to hire. A reasonable conclusion is that you treated Beth differently because she is a woman. Your treatment was intentional. Beth is a victim of disparate treatment discrimination.
Disparate Impact • Disparate impact is usually, but not always, unintentional. • It occurs when a decision, practice, or policy has a disproportionately negative effect on a protected group.
Example Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, many fire departments required firefighter applicants to be at least 5 feet 10 inches tall and to weigh at least 165 pounds. The reason for this requirement was to ensure that strong, physically fit people were hired as firefighters. However, height and weight do not always show that a person is strong. Because of these requirements, women, Hispanics, Filipinos, Asians, and others who were strong and physically fit were not considered for the job of firefighters
Question Were fire departments intentionally discriminating against these groups?
Analysis Whether fire departments meant to discriminate or not, there was a disproportionately negative impact on employment opportunities for women and certain minorities in fire departments. As a result, a number of protected groups were victims of disparate impact discrimination.
Retaliation Discrimination • Retaliation discrimination occurs when one person takes action against another person who has exercised his or her rights to complain about another person. • Retaliation is usually intentional and vindictive.
Example Roberta files a discrimination claim with Human Resources based on her gender and national origin. Her complaint is about a promotion she did not receive. It is based on a decision her supervisor, Manfred, made to promote John. When Manfred learns that Roberta has filed the complaint, he stops talking to her. He also begins giving her lower-level, repetitive work assignments. When he learns that Maria has offered to support Roberta by serving as a witness in the investigation, he begins to give Maria lower-level work assignments also.
Question Has Manfred discriminated against Roberta and Maria?
Analysis Roberta and Maria are both involved in exercising Roberta’s right to ask for a review, based on anti-discrimination laws, of Manfred’s decision to promote John. Manfred is holding that right against both of them; therefore, Manfred is retaliating.
Harassment and Sexual Harassment • Harassment and Sexual Harassment are two of the most discussed topics in Human Resources. • Harassment can be directed against any protected group. • Sexual harassment is s form of sex discrimination. • Harassment and/or sexual harassment can be intentional or unintentional.
What is Harassment? • Harassment means to disturb, torment, or pester on a persistent basis. • Some harassment can be legitimate or lawful. • For instance, an employee my believe that the supervisor is harassing when frequently asked about the status of an important project. • However, since the supervisor has a legitimate business reason for the question, it would not be considered unlawful harassment.
Types of Illegal Harassment • There are basically three types of illegal harassment. They are: • Verbal • Physical • Visual
Verbal Harassment • Verbal harassment includes spoken words, written words, and sounds that people make. • When these words and sounds are directed toward other people in a way that disturbs, torments, or pesters them based on their membership in a protected group, they are most likely a victim of verbal harassment. • Verbal harassment becomes illegal harassment when it is unwelcome and unreasonable.
Types of Verbal Harassment There are three main kinds of verbal harassment • Epithets • Derogatory comments • Slur
Epithets • Are words that labels or stereotypes a person or group based on membership in one or more protected categories. • Example: get one of the girls to handle it.
Derogatory Comments • Puts down a person or group, or belittles them • Example: You stupid (insert any protected class) are all the same
Slur • Is a change in a person’s normal speech pattern to imply something about another person or group bases on membership in a protected class. • Examples: mimicking an accent or speech impediment, lisping words to imply something about another person’s sexual orientation, whistling, grunting, groaning or any other number of other noises directed toward another person.
Physical Harassment • Physical harassment includes but is not limited to, assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement directed at an individual. • This also includes inappropriate touching.
Examples Hitting, pushing, or knocking someone down, blocking the way of someone in a corridor or turn around to force that person to go to the other side of the corridor, placing a hand on another person’s buttocks, breasts, or crotch, frequent touching another person on the shoulder (or any other place) against that person’s wishes, purposely brushing up against another person while walking or passing by, or moving a leg toward the leg of another person under a table to make contact.
Visual Harassment • Visual harassment includes, but is not limited to, pictures, posters, calendars, cartoon, statements written on walls, and other objects that can be clearly seen. • Pinups or calendars featuring scantily clad men or women fall into this category. • Visual harassment can also include “screen savers” depicting scantily clad or nude people, disseminating racial, suggestive, lewd, or even pornographic e-mail messages or pictures.
Remember • A supervisor must take sexual harassment claims seriously. • They must conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of complaints and implement timely and effective corrective action to eliminate harassment.
Investigations • An effective investigation considers: • Totality of the circumstances – the nature of the conduct, the context of the events, the severity and pervasiveness of the behavior, whether it was threatening or humiliating, whether it was unwelcome, and whether it unreasonably interfered with the individual’s work environment.
Investigations (cont.) • Reasonableness – Whether a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances would view the behavior as harassment. • Hostility – Whether the person filing the complaint considered the behavior to be hostile or abusive.
Sexual Harassment • Sexual harassment includes behavior such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a lewd sexual nature, such as name calling, suggestive comments, or lewd talk and jokes. • There are two kinds • Quid Pro Quo Harassment • Environmental Harassment
Quid Pro Quo • Occurs when one person is asked, forced, pressured, or influenced to provide sexual favors or acts as a term, condition, or privilege of employment. • Normally a result of a lead worker, team leader, supervisor, or manager using his or her power or authority in an inappropriate way to gain a sexual advantage over an employee.
Examples • This could be as blatant as a supervisor telling an employee that she or he must have sex with him or her to get a raisea raise. • It might be as subtle as a supervisor resting a hand on the shoulder of an employee in a suggestive manner at every opportunity.
Liability • The courts hold companies and supervisors strictly liable for quid pro quo harassment. • Strictly liable means that there is no excuse for the behavior. • If quid pro quo harassment is found to exist, the company AND the organization’s representatives will pay a heavy price.
Environmental Sexual Harassment • This is sometimes referred to as “hostile work environment” • Occurs when the workplace conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. • Companies are liable for environmental sexual harassment when they knew or shouldhave known that it was taking place.
Examples • A sexual joke is told in the workplace • People use nicknames like “babe”“honey”“hunk”“stud” or “sweetheart • Two co-workers who are dating outside of the workplace bring their relationship into the workplace in a manner that makes it difficult for others to interact with one or both of them.
Examples (cont.) • Suggestive pictures, posters, or calendars are displayed in the workplace. One person looks at another in a way that causes the second person to feel as thought he or she has been “undressed” with the eyes of the first person. • A customer makes suggestive, rude, or crude remarks to an employee
Examples (cont.) • The employees of an outside vendor use vulgar or suggestive language toward employees in your company. • An employee’s friend or customer visits the workplace and uses inappropriate language or gestures
Inappropriate Touching • There are many ways to touch another person. • 99.9% of these ways are inappropriate in a workplace environment. • Avoid touching employees unless you are clear that your touch is welcome. • Remember, a smile, handshake, or a few kind words can be just as effective as a hug or a touch.
Prevention • There are a number of steps that YOU can take to prevent harassment and sexual harassment. For instance; • Have a written policy regarding sexual harassment • Know the and observe the written policy regarding sexual harassment • Train employees and representatives to identify and avoid inappropriate behaviors.
Written Policy • Our harassment policy clearly defines inappropriate behaviors that can be construed as harassment or sexual harassment. • Take a moment to review the policy and procedures to make sure you are familiar with it.
Remember • As with all management policies, the harassment policy is only effective if it is taken seriously and carefully enforced. • YOU must show that you support the policy through your actions and words.
Model Good Practices • Set a personal example for others with the language you use. • Avoid slang and vulgar words and phrases. • Avoid nicknames that may stereotype or labeling of people. • Avoid gender and race based labels • Avoid unnecessary touching • Take immediate steps to remove pictures, cartoons, drawings, and other visual cues that may degrade or offend employees in your workplace.
Model Good Practices • Don’t date people you work with. • Don’t make suggestive remarks that may be interpreted as asking someone for a date or a sexual favor. • Set high standards of behavior for yourself, and make sure it is known that you will not tolerate discrimination.