Allemployees have a right to equal opportunities. It is a right that hasbeen championed in the Constitution to protect each citizen that isviable for employment. Due to the sensitivity of this issue, severalbodies have been established to limit discriminations in theworkplace. Some of the acts include Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Equal Pay Act(EPA), and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Sometimes employees donot comprehend the applicability of these Acts. They have limitedideas of how the rules affect them and the entire organization.Therefore, this paper will discuss each of these Acts and how theyapply to the organization. Some institutions violate the Acts eitherknowingly or unknowingly thereby affecting stakeholders associatedwith it. In that regard, this paper will also outline how the Actsare violated in organizations.
TheAmericans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
TheAct was first adopted in 1990 with several amendments done over theyears. It prohibits discrimination against individuals withdisabilities in communications, governmental activities, publicaccommodation, transportation, and employment. The agencies thatenforce the law include the Labor Department, Equal EmploymentOpportunity Commission (EEOC), Justice Department, and FederalCommunications Commission (FCC) among others. To be covered by theAct, an individual ought to have a disability or a relation toanother person with a disability. The ADA describes a person with adisability as an individual who has a mental or physical deficiencythat considerably prevents one or more key life activities. Theindividual should have a record or history of the impairment or beprofessed by others.
ADATitle I is concerned with employment. According to the Act, anyemployer having 15 workers and above must grant any qualified personwith disabilities similar opportunities available to the rest. Inother words, a person with a disability should take full advantage ofany employment-related chances. For instance, it proscribesdiscrimination in training, promotions, hiring, recruitment, socialactivities, and payment among other privileges. The act prohibitsqueries of an applicant’s disability during recruitment. Anemployer must provide appropriate accommodation to the known mentaland physical limitations of the qualified persons with disabilities,except it leads to undue hardships. For instance, a person with thedisability is prevented from getting a job, yet he has all thenecessary qualifications. He/she has all the academic requirementsand excels in the interview only to be disqualified due to a hearingproblem. All complaints concerning Title I are dealt with the EEOC(U.S. Department of Justice, 2009).
TheAge Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
TheAct was adopted in 1967 with amendments done over the years. Itprevents employment discriminations against individuals who are 40years and above. According to the law, it is illegal for an employer
To fail or decline to employ or to release any person or else discriminate against individuals regarding his/her compensation, privileges, conditions, or terms of employment, due to age.
To segregate, classify, or limit his/her workers in a way that deprives or tends to divest any person of employment chances or otherwise unfavorably affect his/her status as a worker, due to age.
To lessen the wage level of any employee so as to conform to this chapter
Inaddition, it is illegal for an employment body to refuse todiscriminate against a person due to age or classify employees basedon their age. The act deems it illegal to exclude a person frommembership due to his/her age. The Act can be divided into varioussects all affecting the employees.
AgeDiscriminations and Work Circumstances
Theact prohibits discrimination regarding any employment facets i.e.hiring, pay, fringe benefits, layoff, job assignments, training,promotions, and firing among terms of employment.
AgeDiscrimination and Harassment
Harassingan individual due to his/her age is illegitimate. Harassment caninvolve, for instance, offensive comments about a person`s age.Though the act does not forbid offhand comments, simple teasing, orisolated cases that are not severe, harassment is proscribed when itis frequently used to develop an offensive or hostile workingenvironment. In addition to that, the act can lead to adversedecisions like demotion or firing of the victim. The harassersinclude the victim`s supervisor, a fellow worker, supervisor fromother sections, customer, or client.
Theabove aspects can be contravened whether unknowingly or knowingly.The most common discrimination comes from supervisors and clients. Acustomer opts to abuse a worker based on his age if he/she does notreceive service as fast as anticipated. For instance, if the serviceis slow, the client uses a slur to discriminate against the employee.Sometimes the delay in service does not emanate from the worker. Asupervisor can also demote an employee because of his/her age.Employees also abuse each other based on age. Such occurrences aredetrimental to the organization. Therefore, the act was adopted tolimit or rather prevent such discriminations.
TheFair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Theact was first established in 1938. It is a federal regulation thatdetermines overtime pay eligibility, minimum wages, recordkeeping andchild labor standards impacting on part-time and full-time employeeswithin the local governments, state, and the private sector. Itcovers all workers holding positions established by the overtimeprovisions of the FLSA. Overtime-eligible workers must be recompensedwith overtime compensatory time or pay for all the hours over 40 perweek. The act provides an attendance record which employee must fillto be eligible. It is a basic requirement for one to comply with theFair Labor Standards. The human resource agency establishes theeligibility status. The criterion utilized to determine overtimeeligibility is founded in the United States Labor Department.
Anyemployee working over the 40 hours a week is entitled to overtime atthe rate of one-half times the usual rate. It is, therefore, illegalto deprive an employee his or her overtime pay, if he/she has workedfor more than 40 hours in a week. However, if the employee is notregistered in the body, it is hard to follow through any claims. Theact also provides some exemption. For an individual to qualify for anexemption, then the particular job responsibilities and salary shouldmeet the requirements instituted by the department of labor. As amatter of fact, section 13 (a) (1) of the Act gives exemption fromovertime pay and minimum wage for workers hired as bona fideadministrative, computer, executive, professional, and outside salesworkers. A good example entails workers involved in interstatecommerce. Additionally, the employee can participate in theproduction of goods for commerce. If the employer has over $500,000annually, then it satisfies the FLSA commerce requirements and theworker should be protected.
EqualPay Act (EPA)
Theact established in 1963 is an element of the FLSA. It prohibitssex-based wage discrimination between women and men in the sameorganization performing similar tasks, possessing the same skills,responsibility, and effort. The workers may also be working inrelated working conditions. According to the Act, no employer shoulddiscriminate against an employee based on sex by remunerating wagesat a rate that is significantly lower than the opposite sex. The onlyexception is given when the system is based on seniority and merit.Additionally, if the quantity and quality of production vary then theremunerations can vary.
Inthe real world, fields like engineering tend to discriminateregarding payments. In other words, women engineers can be paid lessas compared to their male counterparts. It is also evident that thenumber of male CEOs supersedes the female counterparts. In thatregard, the men are paid more than the females even though the tasksare similar.
Theseacts evidently suggest equality within organizations in terms ofresponsibilities and remunerations.
The Commission enforces the law againstworkplace discrimination. The body investigates complaints regardingcolor, sex, gender identity, disability, race, religion, origin, andcolor among others. Employees are usually confused by theeffectiveness of these acts and how they are applied. However, asillustrated by the EEOC, employers have the obligation to inform theworkers about their rights. Apart from that employees have a duty toseek for their rights. In that respect, harmony between the employeesand their employers is mandatory to heighten the productivity levelsof an organization.
Barrett, M. H. (2015). Overview of Retaliation Laws beyond EEOC.
U.S. Department of Justice. (2009). A Guide to Disability Rights LAws.
U.S. Department of LAbor. (2011). The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, As Amended.