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HR Management and the EEOC Process

Human Resource Management is the backbone of every company. From a business standpoint, HR Management does many things from being a strategic partner with the corporate structure, dealing with Equal Opportunity issues, job analysis, employee testing, recruiting and hiring, training and developing employees, establishing pay appraisal techniques, managing careers, and establishing employee compensation. (Dessler, G. 2003) By managing human resources effectively and efficiently, we know that our workers are satisfied and motivated, willing to perform their duties to the best of their abilities.

Effective human resource management should help employees find meaningful work and try to provide them with career satisfaction. It may also help an organization to improve its performance and increase success. In this essay, however I will touch upon a major issue of Employee Equal Opportunity. On July 1964 the 88th Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, called the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, later referred to as EEOC. This Act prohibits discrimination in housing, education, employment, public accommodations, and the receipt of federal funds on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, or religion.

(Bennet-Alexander, D and Hartman, L, 2003) The mission of the EEOC, as set forth in its strategic plan, is to promote equal

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opportunity in employment through administrative and judicial enforcement of the federal civil rights laws and through education and technical assistance. (Kansas Nurse, Jan 2002) The EEOC is a government commission, the original purpose for this commission was to end discrimination in employment and to promote programs to make equal employment opportunity a reality. The commission receives charges of discrimination, investigates, and if they appear true, attempts to remedy them through conciliation.

Any individual who believes that his or her employment rights have been violated may file a charge of discrimination with EEOC. The EEOC enforces the principal federal statutes prohibiting employment discrimination, including: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended (ADEA), which prohibits employment discrimination against individuals 40 years of age and older;

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in compensation for substantially similar work under similar conditions; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability in both the public and private sector, excluding the federal government; The Civil Rights Act of 1991, which includes provisions for monetary damages in cases of intentional discrimination and clarifies provisions regarding disparate impact actions; and,

Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which prohibits employment discrimination against federal employees with disabilities. (Kansas Nurse, Jan 2002) The following paragraphs will outline the claims process of the EEOC. The first step in the claims process within the EEOC begins with the employee filing a claim through a local agency that handles employment discrimination claims on behalf of the EEOC. “These agencies may contract with the EEOC to be what is called a 706 agency (named for section 706 of the act).

These agencies receive and process claims on discrimination for the EEOC in addition to carrying on their own state business” (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2001, p. 83). The claimant may also file a claim directly with the EEOC, however if there is a 706 agency in the area, the EEOC must defer the claim to the 706 agency and not will not act on it for 60 days. Once the EEOC receives the claim, it serves the complaint to the employer within 10 days. Under the new mediation process established after February 11, 1999, the EEOC sends both sides letters offering voluntary mediation to which each party has 10 days to respond.

If they both elect to mediate, it must be conducted within 60 days for in house mediation or 45 days for external mediation. During the mediation process each side is given the opportunity to present their case and request for relief. The information disclosed during the mediation process is considered confidential and if an agreement is reached it is binding. If the parties choose not to mediate, the charge will be referred back to the EEOC who will then investigate the claim by interviewing both parties and any relevant witnesses. If the EEOC finds reasonable cause they will attempt to conciliate the matter by engaging an EEOC specialist.

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