The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a self-regulating federal law body that imposes legislation against workplace discrimination.
The EEOC investigates various forms of workplace discrimination based on race, age, sex, color, pregnancy, religion, retaliation, sexual harassment, and disability. It has the power to begin court proceedings against employers on behalf of the affected persons and to arbitrate claims of discrimination brought against employers. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), employers are prohibited from engaging in any form of discrimination against their staff. Whenever any cases of discrimination are reported, the EEOC may enter action to enforce the enactment of this legislation. Generally, attorneys from the EEOC will work with the claimant and defendants to ensure that workplaces conform to the Title VII provisions (EEOC, N.D).
Role of EEOC in Age Discrimination
Age discrimination occurs when an employee is discriminated against on grounds of age.
In paper, the term can refer to employees of all ages, however, studies show that persons aged 40 years and above suffer the highest proportion of all discrimination cases. The United States Code contains a section that deals specifically with this form of discrimination, known as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). This legislation aims to protect persons aged 40 persons or more from age discrimination. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA) revised several parts of the ADEA Act to chiefly ban firms from holding back benefits to employees aged 40 years and above. Under SEC 626 of the ADEA Act, the EEOE has the power to investigate reported cases of age discrimination against workers. Employees who feel discriminated due to age by an employer can file for charges with the EEOC. The employee must first file a charge with the EEOC before filing a lawsuit against the employer (EEOC, N.
D). Consequently, the EEOC can take up the case and investigate the charge. It may seek to have the victim reimbursed for lost wages, given a promotion, or even get employed, depending on the form of discrimination reported. Besides, various expense reimbursements may be sought: attorney fees, witness fees, and any other expenses incurred in the search for justice. Compensation and punitive measures may be undertaken when deliberate discrimination has been undertaken against a worker (Directgov, 2011). Under SEC 614 of the ADEA Act, the EEOC can undertake appropriate studies or investigations to determine if companies comply to the ADEA legislation on cases such as involuntary retirement. After completing its investigations, the EEOC reports its findings and any suitable legislative suggestions to Congress (EEOC, N.
Responsibilities of employers in curbing age discrimination
Employers must ensure that workplace conditions conform to the ADEA provisions, that is, no discriminatory actions should be taken against persons aged 40 years and above. Elements that relate to employment, such as the recruitment processes, firing, wages, job assignments, discharges, promotions, and employee benefits must treat all workers equally.
Employers must also ensure that workers are not harassed because of their age. For example, other workers must desist from making regular comments about a person’s age that may create a hostile or offensive work environment, or result in adverse employment decisions. Finally, employment policies and practices must favor all persons irrespective of age.
The practices must not have a negative impact on workers aged 40 years and above (EEOC, N.D).
Directgov. (2011). Age Discrimination.
Retrieved September 2, 2011, fromhttp://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/ResolvingWorkplaceDisputes/DiscriminationAtWork/DG_10026429 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). (N.
d). Age Discrimination. Retrieved September 2, 2011, from http://www.
eeoc.gov/laws/types/age.cfm Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). (N.
d). The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. Retrieved September 2, 2011, from http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/adea.cfm