If you have been following the Democratic presidential race at all, you may have heard Elizabeth Warren's claim that, in 1971, she was forced out of a job as a teacher because she was pregnant. At that time, pregnancy wasn't a characteristic protected by federal anti-discrimination laws. It wasn't until 1978 that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) to prohibit pregnancy discrimination.
Federal law requires most employers to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities and religious needs. A reasonable accommodation is generally a change in the way the work is performed. It could include schedule changes, technology changes or even allowing the person to work remotely. The accommodation is considered reasonable if it would not create "undue hardship," meaning significant cost or disruption, for the employer.
Most employers support the idea of anti-discrimination laws and have every intention of following them. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation around. Many small business owners find it hard to tell if their employee policies comply with federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Let's take a look at compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Establishing an effective workplace and strong culture starts at the top for any company. When managers and supervisors model correct behavior, it sets the tone for others to follow. As a result, companies can realize tangible benefits by properly training their managers and supervisors. Proper training of supervisors will include:
A Virginia-based stone contracting company has been ordered to pay $40,000 in relation to a claim that it was involved in discrimination against a worker based on his national origin, religion and color.
In Greenbelt and throughout the metro D.C. area, workplace discrimination is not the same issue that it once was--it exists, but it has evolved. Companies do not often publicly fire a worker because she is a woman or because he has a disability, as this type of blatant discrimination has become unpopular over time. But, discrimination still plays an unfortunate role in hiring and firing decisions as well as daily life in the workplace.