Josephine's Personnel Services, Inc.

Workplace Discrimination: What Are the Consequences for Employers?

October 15th, 2013
What are the consequences?

What are the consequences?

In part two of this series on workplace discrimination, we discussed a handful of ways in which workplace discrimination can take place. Federal law protects employees in the workplace from discrimination based on factors such as age, race, sex and disability. As previously discussed, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces these laws and ensures that employees and applicants receive equal pay and opportunity for hiring, promotion and training.

This week we discuss the consequences of workplace discrimination for employers. We already know that discrimination can be punishable by law. However, do you know what the repercussions are for the company or employers accused of discrimination? The aftermath can range from tangible to intangible.

1. Lawsuits, Fines & Penalties – Workplace discrimination includes three types of tangible consequences for employers including fines, litigation costs and penalties imposed by federal or state agencies upon the investigation and discovery of discriminatory practices in the workplace. If your company is found guilty of discrimination and you don’t reach a conciliatory agreement with the EEOC, it may file a federal lawsuit against the company. If the EEOC charge is dismissed, the employee could still file a personal lawsuit against your company.

2. Bad Publicity & Company Reputation – Another tangible consequence of discrimination is the bad publicity your company may receive because of fines, settlements and penalties. This could hurt your business’ bottom line for years to come. Socially responsible consumers are less likely to support a company that has been found guilty of engaging in discriminatory employment practices. Not only that, but the accusations can cause serious damage to your company’s reputation. It wills also make it harder for your business to find qualified applicants for open positions.

3. Employee Morale – Discrimination also creates poor employee morale. If an employee feels benefits, rewards and promotions have little to do with their performance, they may stop doing their best work. Employee turnover will also increase, as employees will leave a company they feel is unfair to its workers.

These are three of the most common consequences for companies and employers who have been accused or convicted of workplace discrimination. For more information on discrimination in the workplace and how to identify it, please visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at www.eeoc.gov.

About Josephine’s Professional Staffing

Founded in 1988, Josephine’s Professional Staffing has nearly 25 years of business success and is continuously committed to providing superior quality staffing solutions to companies in the Bay Area. We proactively and consistently search for avenues to provide staffing solutions in the field of administrative, accounting, healthcare, light industrial, technical and professional services while taking pride in each of our employees. Josephine’s Professional Staffing is a Certified Small Business Enterprise (SBE), Underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (UDBE), and Minority Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (MWOBE). We can be reached at jps@jps-inc.com or 408.943.0111 and are located at 2158 Ringwood Avenue, San Jose, CA 95131.

Photo Credit: jo-marshall (was Jo-h)

Workplace Discrimination – Getting to Know the Basics (Part 2)

October 8th, 2013

workIn our last blog post we introduced the bare basics of workplace discrimination. In part one of this series, we shared information on the definition of workplace discrimination, as well as federal discrimination laws and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Today, we continue our multiple post series by establishing a handful of the ways in which workplace discrimination can take place.

As discussed previously, discrimination is any unjust or unfair treatment of an individual or group of people due to an aspect of their personal life. Any discrimination within the workplace is punishable by law and protected by various pieces of legislation including the Equal Pay Act, Civil Rights Act, Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here are three of the many ways an employee can be discriminated against in the workplace:

1.      Age: The age of an individual is not indicative of their ability to complete work related tasks. It is highly illegal to be fired, not hired or kept from specific tasks due to an applicant or employee’s age.

2.     Disability: The American’s with Disabilities Act protects individuals with both long and short term disabilities in the workplace. This form of discrimination occurs when an employer or coworker treats an individual with a disability as though they are less favorable or less capable because of their disability or condition. This includes, but is not limited to, offensive remarks or the denial of proper accommodations.

3.     Equal Pay: This seems like an obvious idea to many and yet it is still a common occurrence in the workplace. The Equal Pay Act was put into action to prevent the obvious discrimination against men or women in the workplace who are not being compensated equally based on their gender. Pay based discrimination can include not only wages or salary, but benefits, stock options, travel accommodations and anything else associated with the position in question. If an employee’s current position is the same content-based work as another individual and they are receiving a higher wage, it may be time to investigate the possibility of discrimination.

These three common types of discrimination are simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding discrimination in a professional workplace. Be sure to check back next week for part 3 of this series as we continue to uncover the various ways in which an employee can be discriminated against, while also answering some frequently asked discrimination-based questions.

About Josephine’s Professional Staffing

Founded in 1988, Josephine’s Professional Staffing has nearly 25 years of business success and is continuously committed to providing superior quality staffing solutions to companies in the Bay Area. We proactively and consistently search for avenues to provide staffing solutions in the field of administrative, accounting, healthcare, light industrial, technical and professional services while taking pride in each of our employees. Josephine’s Professional Staffing is a Certified Small Business Enterprise (SBE), Underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (UDBE), and Minority Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (MWOBE). We can be reached at jps@jps-inc.com  or 4008.943.0111 and are located at 2158 Ringwood Avenue, San Jose, CA 95131.

Photo Credit: Mr. Boombust

Workplace Discrimination – Getting to Know the Basics (Part 1)

October 1st, 2013

 

Be informed in the workplace.

Be informed in the workplace.

Workplace discrimination can come in many shapes and forms. In any case, the discrimination of an employee for any reason is not only frowned upon, but legally unacceptable and punishable by law. In this multi-post blog series, we will answer a multitude of frequently asked questions regarding employment and workplace discrimination. In part one of this series, we introduce the basic definition of workplace discrimination, federal discrimination laws and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

What is Discrimination?

Simply stated, employment discrimination is any unjust or unfair treatment of an individual or group of people due to an aspect of their personal life. This could include their gender, sexual preference, heritage, health, social status etc.

What Are the Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination?  There are various laws that have been put into action to protect the rights of an employee in regards to workplace discrimination. A few of the basics are listed below:

  • Equal Pay Act (1963) – This was set into action in hopes of battling gender based wage discrimination.
  • Civil Rights Act, Title VII (1964) -This act began the prohibition of any workplace discrimination that could be identity based. This includes, race, religion, ethnicity, gender etc.
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1967) – This prevents ageism in the workplace and promoted equal opportunity for employees over 40 years of age.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) – This act disallows any discrimination against employees with a disability.


What is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?

As set forth by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the EEOC is, “responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because they  complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws (20 employees in age discrimination cases). Most labor unions and employment agencies are also covered. The laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages and benefits.”

Understanding employment and workplace discrimination is essential for managing or functioning in a healthy, legally sound and employee centered workplace. Be sure to check back next week as we continue introducing the various concepts of employee discrimination.

About Josephine’s Professional Staffing

Founded in 1988, Josephine’s Professional Staffing has nearly 25 years of business success and is continuously committed to providing superior quality staffing solutions to companies in the Bay Area. We proactively and consistently search for avenues to provide staffing solutions in the field of administrative, accounting, healthcare, light industrial, technical and professional services while taking pride in each of our employees. Josephine’s Professional Staffing is a Certified Small Business Enterprise (SBE), Underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (UDBE), and Minority Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (MWOBE). We can be reached at jps@jps-inc.com or 4008.943.0111 and are located at 2158 Ringwood Avenue, San Jose, CA 95131.

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee