Many employees can face discrimination or sexual harassment claims nowadays. Even in the US Congress, such cases are reported frequently. It is very difficult for the managers of companies to deal with this kind of problems because they can cost large sums of money to the company. For example, TX Bar Journal estimated that the average large corporation pays approximately $6.7 million to investigate, defend, and either settle or pay judgments for sexual harassment claims.
Therefore, it has become very important for companies, especially nowadays, to pay lots of attention to legislation regulating discrimination in the workplace. It is much cheaper for the company to make studies of the necessary laws and make sure human resources management always takes into consideration everything marked in those acts than suffer losses from claims. Even though it is impossible to take into consideration every single aspect marked in the legislation, most of them can be followed without any difficulties.
All of the people working and living in the United States want to have equal abilities for working and developing their career and building their happy future. If in the beginning of the century discrimination could be not punished, at present people believe in the ideals of democracy and fight for their rights because they want to have a prosperous future. People of different religions and outlooks live and work in the US and it is very important for companies to ensure equal conditions for them in the workplace. Title VII is one of the most important laws regulating the mentioned problems.
Title VII coverage.
Title VII is one of the most general laws which protects individuals from job discrimination in different fields, while all other laws regulating job discrimination sphere focus on issues which were not completely covered in the Title VII or which need some special description. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was adopted in 1964 which makes it the oldest law in the list of laws regulating discrimination in the workplace and which therefore means that it is a basic law in the field.
Title VII covers all of the private employers, state and local governments, and education institutions that employ 15 or more individuals, private and public employment agencies, labor organizations, and joint labor management committees controlling apprenticeship and training.
General characteristics, policies, and impact.
According to Title VII, it is considered illegal to discriminate in the following aspects of employment, such as: hiring and firing; compensation, assignment, or classification of employees; transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall; job advertisements; recruitment; testing; use of company facilities; training and apprenticeship programs; fringe benefits; pay, retirement plans, and disability leave; or other terms and conditions of employment. The mentioned aspects are the most important in the field because they cover all the general areas of discrimination where an individual can be denied his rights.
There are also some other aspects which Title VII also prohibits, for example harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age; retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices.
The act prohibits employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities; and denying employment opportunities to a person because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability. It is considered an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, or privileges of employment, because of such individuals race, religion, sex, or origin.
Title VII also prohibits discrimination because of participation in schools or places of worship associated with a particular racial or religious group. Title VII prohibits not only intentional discrimination, but also practices that have the effect of discriminating against individuals because of their race, color, national origin. For example, at some jobs employers might want to require their employees to conduct their work only in English and therefore they have to speak English fluently, or otherwise they will not be employed. According to Title VII, this is going to be considered discrimination unless the employer can prove that without this knowledge, the employee will be unable to conduct any work in the particular job for which he is applying.
Oftentimes people cannot get a particular job not because of their disability to work in this position but because some member of the family is of a certain race which is considered unacceptable by the employer, or because of religion which appears unacceptable to the employer, or because the individual is disabled, or because he does not speak English.
Without any legislation prohibiting those practices, employees could never be protected against those practices and would have to suffer from discrimination which becomes very common in such multinational society as American Society. That is why human resources management in the companies should always be knowledgeable in all the aspects which Title VII and all other discrimination prohibiting legislation cover and make sure they avoid all the practices which may discriminate against certain employees or job applicants.