University of Phoenix
MGT/434 - Employment Law
August 26, 2003
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employers, unions, joint-labor management committees, and employment agencies from discriminating in any aspect of employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. Title VII also addresses subtle as well as overt discrimination; disparate treatment as well as disparate impact; and discrimination that is intentional as well as unintentional. The law also allows for compensatory and punitive damages, where appropriate, as well as jury trials (Bennett-Alexander, 2003, p.91).
In order to obey the Title VII guidelines, organizations must scrutinize the hiring and employment practices of every individual who has employment or management responsibilities. It is through this careful examination that many companies have discovered the benefits of having strong hiring and management policies. These policies must thoroughly address the rules regarding discrimination in the workplace, and must be unconditionally implemented.
If unsure whether the organization needs to be concerned about issues of race discrimination, it should be noted that in 2002, almost 30 thousand claims of racial discrimination were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Of which, over two thousand were deemed as justified. These upheld claims cost over 81 million dollars in settlements (EEOC, 2003). Obviously, any discrimination based on race is a slippery slope.
Oftentimes, organizations try to implement safeguards from race discrimination in the form of competency or proficiency test. It is believed that these test aid in the screening process, and can provide documentation that the individual was eliminated based on test scores, rather than skin color. However, while this practice appears facially neutral, it could still be creating unintended discrimination if a number of protected class participants continually fail the exam.
If, in fact, a number of...