Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Rights Review
Business environments today display diversity, a numerical composition that reflects different kinds of people, such as men and women of different ethnic origins, educational experiences, and professional backgrounds (Beamish, Morrison, Inkpen, & Rosenzweig, 2003). A vast amount of organizations are emulating a diverse workforce. Fair treatment of employees is the responsibility of the human resource management team within a firm. Footsteps of past generations are the facilitating mechanism allowing today’s generation to participate in a safe and fair workplace. Specific rules and regulations assist in equal employment opportunities for every employee. The Equal Employment Opportunity Act, Family Medical Leave Act, and the Drug-Free Workforce Act protect employees and employers, are targets of present-day court cases, require the HR department to manage employer-employee relationships, and facilitate the implementation of HR compliance policies. Equal opportunity, fair medical benefits, and a safe work environment enable professional growth, job security, and a secure workforce. United States laws currently in place protect these rights for American workers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA) grants enforcement powers to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2007). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforcement powers consist of prohibiting employment discrimination because of race, religion, color, sex, or national origin (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2007). The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take unpaid job-protected leave of absence for specific family and medical reasons (United States Department of Labor, n.d.). The provisions of FMLA ensures 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for situations, such as to care for a newborn child, a serious health condition of a parent, and medical issues that interfere with employees working (United States Department of Labor, n.d.). The Drug-Free Workplace Act ensures a drug-free business environment. The intention of the act is to keep substance abuse from entering the workplace (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2007). The requirement of the business workforce is to peruse actively a drug-free environment, implementation of drug tests for employees, and the establishment of drug-free workforce policies by organizations (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2007). In the Department of Labor v. D.S. Waters of America d.b.a. Sparkletts (Case No.: 11-2075-PHX-SRB US District Court, Arizona) the Department of Labor (DOL) filed suit against Sparkletts for violating Peter Lyle’s rights under the Family Medical Leave Act. In the suit, the DOL claims that the defendant failed to continue Lyle’s employment after granting Lyle FMLA leave. The DOL of labor claimed that although another company purchased the company, it continued operations at the same location with the same employees while performing the same function as before the purchase. The court ruled in favor of the DOL awarding Lyle back pay, amount equal to cost of insurance benefits that would have been provided, that Lyle must be made an offer of employment for route sales representative, and given seniority as if he were continually employed from December 2009 (Nowak, 2013). The court decision implies that even though a company is sold while an employee is out on FMLA, if that company is still functioning in the same business with the same personnel, the FMLA will continue to be enforceable on the purchasing company. In Kentucky Retirement Systems v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Case # 06-1037 United States Supreme Court) the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a suit claiming that the Kentucky Retirement System (KRS) discriminated against employees 55 or older who became disabled, by denying them the same benefits that would be afforded to another employee in the same job...
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