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What Business Owners Should Know About Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws

Employers need to find the best workers for their businesses. Once business owners have employees on board, they want to keep them in place for a long time. While it may seem easy to select employees and provide them with wages and benefits, business owners need to be aware of the equal employment opportunity laws that apply to their company. Improper or illegal actions could cost you money and give your company a bad reputation. When you understand the EEO laws, you will be able to manage employee relations more easily.

Equal Employment Opportunity Laws

There are a variety of laws that govern employment in the United States. The laws are designed to protect people from discriminatory acts and allow everyone the same opportunities.

Equal Pay Act 

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) requires employers to pay men and women the same when they perform the same job. It is also called “equal pay for equal work” by some. People who perform the same job in the workplace must receive equal pay from their employer. Also, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for reporting discrimination in the workplace.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against a person based on their race, color, gender, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate. If someone alleges discrimination, the employer cannot take any action against that person.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

This is an amendment to Title VII. This amendment makes it against the law to discriminate against a woman because of pregnancy or childbirth or any medical condition associated with pregnancy or childbirth. An employer cannot discriminate against someone who complains or files a charge claiming discrimination due to pregnancy or childbirth.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was put in place in 1967. The act provides protection for workers over the age of 40. An employer cannot discriminate against someone because of their age. Also, an employer cannot discriminate against someone because they made a claim of age discrimination in the workplace.

Americans With Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides protections for those who are disabled. Employers cannot discriminate against someone because of their disability. Further, an employer must reasonably accommodate an employee with a disability for their known mental or physical needs.

Ensuring EEO Compliance

Businesses must abide by all the laws that ensure equal employment opportunities. The laws apply to applicants and employees. Employers must make sure that they provide a fair workplace. Often, companies handle these matters through their human resources department. If you don’t have an HR department, you must still ensure that you abide by all the rules and regulations. When someone makes a complaint regarding discrimination, you cannot fire them, demote them, or harass them simply because of the complaint.

It is essential to follow equal employment opportunity laws and to provide a fair and open workplace for all employees. EEO complaints can be challenging, so it is helpful to seek guidance from an experienced employment law attorney. Contact our attorneys at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. at (608) 784-8310 or online to schedule a consultation today.


Published April 17, 2023
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