For the 2013-16 fiscal years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission started chipping away at the mountain of litigation classified under staffing and hiring practices is one of its top six priorities.
A recent influx of class-based discrimination suits against employers by status-protected groups for claims of unfair hiring practices has caused the EEOC to take pause and dedicate additional attention to hiring new workers and recruitment strategies.
In one of its first missions since the overhaul, the EEOC took a look at Sedona Staffing, an agency that refers applicants to clients for jobs. At the staffing agency six complaints had been filed by applications claiming their resumes were not sent to employers because of their age, disability, socioeconomic status, race or national origin. In total, the suits added to $920,000 to be awarded to the plaintiffs and Sedona would have to require annual diversity training as a stipulation of their HR compliance according to the settlement.
In another case, Karen Ross, a receptionist for Southwest Virginia Community Hospital filed lodged a complaint with the EEOC after her employer failed to take action against sexual harassment Ross claimed she experienced while on the job. Although the harassment was committed by a non-employee patient, the hospital was liable for the abuse due to prior knowledge of the incidents and was ordered to pay $30,000 in damages in October 2013.
The EEOC is a federal agency serving as a watchdog to unfair labor violations and thus can initiate any further mediation or legal mitigation in employer-worker court cases. Employees who have been subject to labor abuses or discriminatory treatment based on protected individual statuses such as a physical or mental disability, gender, sexuality or ethnicity may then file a complaint with the agency, which may respond with an investigation into the claim. Worker's benefits, wages, environments, promotions, training and harassment are all under the scope of the EEOC.
With the increase in time the EEOC decided to allot to stamp out improper hiring practices, companies must be sure they remain vigilant of civil rights violations. As worker's advocacy groups and civil rights laws continue to evolve, employers need to be certain they are in full cooperation with their HR partner to ensure they are fulfilling all HR compliance policies, especially during recruitment, referral and retaining potential employees.Don't get caught up in EEOC Lawsuits! Watch our EEOC webinar by expert attorney Scott Paler on demand.
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