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Employee Rights

Summary of Key Legislation Guarantying Employee Rights

Legislation Summary Consequences
Civil Rights Act of 1964

Prohibits:

  • Discrimination or segregation based on race, color, national origin, religion, and gender in all terms and conditions of employment
  • Sexual harassment and harassment
  • Discrimination in compensation practices
  • Discrimination in opportunity to participate in training programs, giving all employees equal opportunity for advancement
  • Classification of employees in a way that would deprive them of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect their career progressions

Litigation

The maximum amount of compensatory and punitive damages is determined by the size of the employer's workforce. For the University of Illinois that liability figure is $300,000.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Prohibits:

  • Discrimination in employment against persons age 40 and over
  • Discrimination in group insurance coverage
  • Discontinuation or reduction in retirement benefits for employees who work past the normal retirement age

Litigation

If the jury finds a "willful" violation, damages can be doubled

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Prohibits:

  • Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions (requires pregnancy to be treated as a temporary disability)
Litigation
Rehabilitation Act

Prohibits:

  • Discrimination based on physical or mental disabilities
  • Reasonable accommodations must include:
  • Job accessibility
  • Job design
  • Eliminating unnecessary job specifications
  • Eliminating hiring decisions based on workers fears or uneasiness about disabilities

Litigation

Penalties may include being barred from receiving federal contracts

Americans with Disabilities Act

Prohibits:

  • Discrimination against a qualified individual with a disability
  • Examples of disabilities:
  • Alcoholism-recovering from
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Diabetes
  • Drug addiction-recovering from
  • Emotional illness
  • Epilepsy
  • Hearing and speech disorders
  • HIV
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental retardation
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Employers must make "reasonable accommodation" to support an employee with a disability
Litigation
Uniform Guidelines on employee Selection Procedures Requires employers to be able to demonstrate that the selection process does not have an adverse impact upon minorities or women and are valid in predicting or measuring performance in a particular job. Litigation
Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act

Prohibits:

  • Discrimination against disabled veterans who served in the armed forces between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975
Litigation
Immigration Reform and Control Act

Prohibits:

  • Discrimination against job applicants on basis of national origin or citizenship
  • Establishes:
  • Penalties for hiring illegal aliens and requires employers to establish each employee's identity and eligibility to work

Litigation

Burden of proof is on the employer through the I9 form

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act Requires some employers to give a minimum of 60 days notice if mass layoffs will occur Litigation
Uniform Services Employment and re-employment Rights Act Protects the employment, reemployment, and retention rights of persons who serve or have served in the uniformed services Litigation