Workforce Diversity

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The workforce is not the same today as it was back about 50 years ago. It has changed becoming more diverse and has a culture of acceptance as far as age, race, disability, and gender are concerned. Today’s workforce reflects a diverse group of people that can be found in many companies across the United States (U.S). The workforce today is made up of single parents, working mothers, mothers who have returned to the workforce, dual-career families, minorities, older workers, persons with disabilities, immigrants, and young persons with limited education or skills (text). How the workforce has become diverse has been a long process of people fighting for their rights. This paper will discuss three laws that had an impact on creating a diverse workforce. The main features of each law will be identified. This paper will also explain how these laws are critical to the success of the army. Three laws that have had an impact on creating a diverse workforce include the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.

There was a great social unrest in the 1960’s. Ever since then, the federal government has had an active involvement in preventing racial discrimination in the workplace. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically Title VII, prohibits all forms of discrimination in the workplace. This includes a person’s race, religion or gender. This law has helped to change the workplace because this law states that it is unlawful for an employer to “fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” (USlegal.com, 2013, ¶ 4). Included in this law is the hiring and firing of a person and the amount of money a person will make as well as other aspects of a person’s employment. This law also protects a person for employment opportunities. For instance, racial discrimination under this law would include an employee who alleges that his/her boss purposely has kept them in an entry-level position because they are a minority and has only promoted white workers in the company. This law protects employees in companies with 15 or more employees. Private, federal, state, and local employers fall under this law. Many states have statues for businesses with less than 15 employees that prevent them from being able to discriminate. This law also prevents employers from being able to limit or segregate employees by race in any way that would negatively prevent an employee from being able to be promoted. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 has two exceptions to it. One exception is that a company can use a bona fide merit type of system to measure an employee’s work performance and the money they earn based on a quantity or quality measuring system. The second exception is that a company can use a test to determine an employee’s abilities in order to hire the most qualified people, as long as the test is not racially discriminating. In order to oversee the federal civil rights legislation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was created to enforce the laws and prevent discrimination (USlegal.com, 2013). This law has had amendments made to it since, but it set the foundation for workforce diversity so that everyone regardless of race, gender or religion could have the same chances to succeed without fear of discrimination in the workplace.

Pregnant women have had to face discrimination in the past, such as employers refusing to hire a woman if she was pregnant or even firing a woman if she became pregnant. The Pregnancy Act of 1978 amended title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law protects pregnant women from being discriminated in the hiring process of a company. A company cannot refuse to hire a woman if she is pregnant, has...
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