In the working environment, the relationship between employers and their employee determines employee productivity. Cases of employment discrimination concerning race, gender and age are occasionally reported within organizations. This has led to the establishment of laws that governs the rights of both employer and employee. Different organizations have varied policies regarding their operations. Employees are categorized within organizations to facilitate their relationships with employers. This paper is aimed at looking at the effects of Title VII of civil rights on the employment environment and ways in which employee grievances may be addressed. It is also aimed at looking at the effects of employee discrimination, organization policies and how employers respond to laws relating to employment-at-will.
Effects of Title VII on the employment environment
Before the establishment of the act employers were seen to discriminate when hiring employees. People of a certain age, gender and race could not be employed in certain organizations. The law prohibited these acts within all organizations leading to equal employment opportunities for all employees. People could be fired discriminately based on gender or race. It was at the discretion of the employer to fire or retain certain employees in their organizations. The introduction of the law led to employee security in the working environment. It could no longer be possible for employers to fire their employees without following proper procedures. Employee compensation methods have also improved in organizations. This is because employers are prohibited from compensating their employees discriminately. Before the enactment of the law,
employees were classified in a way that deprived many people chances of being employed. Currently, employers are required not to put their employment conditions in a way that limits or seem to deprive individuals’ employment opportunities. For organizations with more that fifteen employees, people can now be employed regardless of their nation of origin (Teamsters, 2008, para. 2).
In every organization, there must rise some misunderstanding between employers and employees or between employees. In case of discrimination grievances, there are various ways in which the problem can be addressed. Discrimination grievances may be solved within the organization where conflicting parties may seek a mediator to help in reconciling them. Here copies of the agreement may be kept and signed by the two parties. In case it becomes difficult to solve the problem within the organization, the complainant may seek for assist stance from the necessary authority. The complainant is expected to fill a complainant form giving details of the form of discrimination so as to facilitate in formal investigation of the problem. The authority can then determine whether the complaint requires to be pursued or to be dropped. In case they decide to continue with the complaint, confidentiality of the complainant needs to be maintained throughout the process (Alice, 2006, para. 2).
Implications of workplace discrimination
There are various forms of employment discriminations that are addressed by Title VII. These are The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and Pregnancy Disability Act (PDA). All these forms of discriminations have adverse implications on the employees. Pregnant women could be discriminate against by either being fired in the name that they are not able to perform their duties or not being paid for the period that they are offered maternity leave by the organization. This could cause a lot of suffering to these employees and their dependants. Cases of discrimination against age denied a lot of qualified employees opportunity to work. Others could not be promoted due to their age. For instance, old people could not be employed despite them having all the qualifications as organizations did not want to incur pension cost for these employees. There were numerous qualified people who were denied an opportunity to work in America due to them being disabled (Teamsters, 2008, para. 4). This made these people develop a sense of not being worth in the society. Despite the law covering most of the discrimination, it does not cover sexual orientation discrimination. This has resulted in most gay, lesbians and bisexuals being discriminated against at workplace and when it comes to employment.
Addressing sexual harassment at workplace
When addressing sexual harassment at workplace, there are various legal procedures that are followed. The complainant is required to prove that she is a member of the protected class. Clear evidence of sexual harassment in form of sexual advances or request foe sexual favors need to be provided by the complainant. She is also required to prove that the employer demanded for sexual favors as the condition of allowing the employee some of the employment benefits. Once this information is provided by the complainant and proved reliable, stern actions according to Title VII provisions are taken against the employer (Sutton, 2008, para. 2).
Employee treatment in organizations
Based on terms of relation between employees and their employers, employees are treated differently within organizations. For employees, their relationship with employers is intensive. It is the duty of the employer to ensure that they have the necessary skills to work in different areas of the organization. Directions are issued by employers where they are expected to meet set targets. They are supposed to conduct their duties in the order set by their employers and have to work for certain set hours by the employer. Independent contractor on the other hand is free from employer directions (Phoenix Business, 2010, para. 3). He or she is entitled to devising order and methods of operations to accomplish the end results. Under the terms of contract, independent contractors are accountable to end-results of the contracted activities. For employees to be categorized as either exempt or non-exempt it depends on the type of work they perform, how they are paid and the amount of money they earn. Nonexempt workers are paid one and a half times their normal pay for every hour worked as overtime while exempt workers are not paid overtime. For exempt workers, they are guaranteed a fixed salary regardless of the number of hours they have worked. Nonexempt workers on the other hand are paid according to the number of hours they have worked. Exempt workers may be requested by their employers to work for extra hours to cater for time lost (Moore, 2009, para. 3-5)
How employers respond to employment-at-will laws
Provisions in employment-at-will laws states that when an employee enter into an employment agreement with the employer, the agreement can be terminate by any party at will. For employers who wish to terminate employee contract, they ensure that their reasons for terminating the contract are not discriminatory as this is prohibited by the law. This is with respect to gender, race, age and disability. Some of the exceptions of employment-at-will that employers ensure they have addressed include not terminating employee’s contract for not agreeing to commit an illegal act as well as not terminating contracts for employees who take family or medical leave (Teamsters, 2008, para. 6).
Alice, J. (2006).Grievance 101: Understanding the Process and Purpose of the Grievance Procedure. Web.
Moore, S. (2009).Exempt Salary vs. Nonexempt. Web.
Phoenix Business. (2010). Regular Employees vs. Independent Contractors. Web.
Sutton, W. (2008). Title VII and Sexual Harassment Claims. Web.
Teamsters. (2008). Civil rights act of 1964. Web.