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Archive for May, 2013

Workplace Compliance with EEOC Laws—C2-PA2GER OR C-PAGER by Anita Nahal, Ph.D.

“As a result of mediation, we are able to keep our pending EEOC claims to a minimum and avoid the time and money it takes to investigate and respond to a claim,”…”exceptionally worthwhile,”… “I would highly recommend it to any company that has a charge filed against them.”
Donna M. Gwin, Director of Human Resources, Safeway, Inc.[i]

My memory for names is not good, so I remember a lot by creating catchy acronyms such as, C2-PA2GER or C-PAGER for the workplace laws enforced by the EEOC. C2-PA2GER stands for two Civil Rights Laws, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the two acts beginning with “A,” the Genetics Information Nondiscrimination Act, the Equal Pay Act and the Rehabilitation Act.  If we take the number 2 out, then the letters simply are C-PAGER. Compliance with the workplace EEOC laws is a necessity that can save millions in legal fees and settlements, regardless to which stage of the Diversity Development Continuum a company/organization/educational institution is situated— at the beginning stage of being just “compliant” with diversity or at the “advanced” final stage whereby ROI can be clearly measured by data, and the business case for diversity is well structured and implemented.

In 2012, the EEOC received a total of 99,412 cases of discrimination; mostly dealing with retaliation, race and gender. It also secured to the tune of 365.4 million in monetary recovery (http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/1-28-13.cfm ) It was estimated that in New York alone between 2008-2012, six million state tax dollars went towards settling sexual harassment cases (http://www.newyorknyemploymentlawyerblog.com/2013/03/millions-of-dollars-spent-to-settle-harassment-cases-in-new-york.shtml ).  The figures are alarming; both in the cases of discrimination filed and the monetary settlements secured.  Thus investment by companies/organizations and educational institutions in an Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity is pretty much, wise business sense.

There are so many laws that it can become quite difficult to remember the ones enforced by the EEOC and the ones that are not.  Among the workplace laws enforced by the EEOC, some of them have common features. All laws, except one, are applicable to organizations over 15 employees with the exception being the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) which stipulates 20 employees.  Furthermore, some of the laws cover employees in the private, state and local governments and some cover those working in the Federal government.  Employees, job applicants, former employees and applicants or participants in a training or apprenticeship are protected with coverage under these laws.  Independent contractors are not covered.  Also, all employers with over 100 employees, or all federal government contractors and first tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a contract amounting to over 50,000 must file an annual EEO-1 Report providing the number of employees by job category and by race, ethnicity and gender.

As per the EEOC, an employer may not fire, demote, harass or retaliate against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination or participating in a discrimination proceeding or opposing discrimination. Job advertisements, recruitment, application and hiring, job referrals, pre-employment inquiries, job assignments and promotions, pay and benefits, employment references, reasonable accommodations, training and apprenticeship programs, terms & conditions of employment, and discipline & discharge are the practices that are permissible within the gamut of various workplace laws.

There are eight workplace laws that are enforced by the EEOC.  I remember them as C2-PA2GER or C-PAGER.[i] Below is a listing with key features:

chart4

I hope the acronym C2-PA2GER (or C-PAGER), makes it easier for you to remember the EEOC laws. Of course, most of you probably have a memory better than mine and this acronym would be of no use to you.

Please note: There are some specific features & stipulations in some of the Acts.  Also, there are specific requirements as to when to file one’s case with the EEOC.  For details, please visit: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/index.cfm

For a listing of the workplace laws that are not enforced by the EEOC, please visit: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/other.cfm

______________________________________

[i] For more quotations, please visit: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/mediation/quotes.cfm

[ii] C2-PA2GER of C-PAGER, stands for two Civil Rights Laws, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the two acts beginning with “A,” the Genetics Information Nondiscrimination Act, the Equal Pay Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

Anita Nahal, Ph.D. is a diversity practitioner, educationist, author, and founder & chairperson of www.diversitydiscover.com. She is former Assistant Provost for International Programs, Howard University, Washington D.C.  Learn more about Dr. Nahal at: http://diversitydiscover.com/founder.html

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