Equal Pay and Compensation Discrimination Term Paper

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Equal Pay and Compensation Discrimination

According to Gender

Equal Pay Act of 1963

Pregnancy Discrimination

According to Race

According to Social Networks

According to Age

According to Corporate Culture

According to Performance and Rewards

The 2001 State labor legislation included several significant developments in employment standards (Nelson 2002). These were an increase in the minimum wage rates, child labor measures, employment in the entertainment industry, limits to child labor and employment discrimination on the basis of genetic information or other reasons. Occupational safety and health, employment and training, labor relations, employee background clearance, economic development local living wage ordinances were not covered. A ban on female workers being paid less than male employees by the same employer for the same work was excluded. Instead, the legislation provided that employers may not discriminate in the payment of wages on the basis of gender for equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility and under the same work conditions.(Nelson). Besides gender, there are other types of pay discrimination practices.

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Term Paper on Equal Pay and Compensation Discrimination Assignment

According to Gender - Morgan Stanley, an investment firm, paid $54 million in settlement to Allison Schieffelin, as lead plaintiff for reasons of gender discrimination (Stites 2005). The suit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC. Schieffelin said that the company withheld from her opportunities for promotions and higher pay. The firm set aside $40 million for other female employees who would make similar claims and $12 million for a new diversity program to enhance the compensation and promotional opportunities of its female employees. it, however, denied the discrimination charges. The settlement was made after the a class-suit action was allowed against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Wal-Mart was accused of sex discrimination, including gender pay inequity. The suit could cover approximately 1.6 former and current female employees in the store chain. It was the largest workplace discrimination lawsuit in American history (Stites).

The Equal Pay Act of 1963

The Commission listed at least 24,000 sex discrimination complaints in its files since 1988 (Stites 2005). In 2004 alone, it won more than 10,000 sex discrimination complaints and recovered $100.8 million worth of benefits for the aggrieved parties. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 obliges employers to give male and female employees equal pay for equal work in the same organization or establishment. Human resource professionals must ensure pay equity within the organization for employees with the same work experience and education. Should a discrepancy exist, they should identify the reason and whether it is legitimate. Under the Act, it is unlawful to retaliate against those who oppose discriminatory practices against sex, file discrimination charges, testify or participate in any investigation in any way (Stites).

Twenty-eight female employees an airline manufacturing company filed action against the company for systemic gender discrimination (Law Reporter 2004). They claimed it violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, federal and State equal pay statutes, and State anti-discrimination laws. They charged that the company denied them job assignments, promotions and overtime pay on the sole basis of gender. The company also knowingly practiced significant disparities in the salaries of its male and female employees and did not correct these disparities. The complaining employees also sued for breach of contract, negligent supervision, and violation of the Stage wage law. The company denied that any of its operating divisions or subsidiaries practiced or engaged in gender discrimination or disparate treatment of employee salaries. The parties eventually settled amicably before trial for compensation between $40.6 million and $72.5 million. The company also agreed to change its policies on compensation, promotion selection and overtime pay (Law Reporter).

Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnant women employees are also discriminated against, as in the case of Milyn Pickler of Meza, Arizona. When she told her boss at the Berge Ford auto dealership about the good news of her pregnancy, she was fired (Woodward 2005). He told her that employees had to be proactive rather than reactive. He said that her cramping or throwing up could lead to an accident and a lawsuit against the company. He assured her, however, that she could go back to work after the delivery. But the loss of her job as representative in the service department also meant the loss of her health insurance. Pickler was only 19 years old and she would lose her job right before Christmas. She sought the help of the EEOC, which sued in her behalf. An out-of-court settlement was reached for $70,000 (Woodward).

Pregnancy discrimination claims in rose by 5% from 2001 to 2004, making pregnancy discrimination a fast-growing type of discrimination (Woodward 2005). Cases of this kind filed at the EEOC increased from 39% in 1992 to 2003, surpassing even sexual harassment and other sex discrimination charges. Claim amounts likewise increased three times during the period. Commission spokesman, David Grinberg, recovered roughly $12 or 13 million a year through litigation and pre-litigation where most of the settlements occurred. Pregnancy discrimination settlements rose by 15.6% in 2004, according to Grinberg. He said that more than half of all the complaints were for illegal or improper termination. Others included imposing improper restrictions on the amount or type of work for pregnant employees or their ability to take maternity leave. More than half of these employees worked in the service and retail industry. This has been the trend since the early 90s. Legal and public policy director Jocelyn C. Frye of the National Partnership for Women and Families, however, noted that pregnancy discrimination could be subtler than in the case of Pickler. A well-performing pregnant woman who is on a managerial level could be moved to another type of job. Contributing factors to pregnancy discrimination have been varied. One would be the increased and increasing number of women in the workplace (Woodward).

The U.S. Census Bureau said that nearly 60% of women aged 16 and older joined the workforce (Woodward 2005). The U.S. Department of Labor said that women would account for more than half of the increase in labor force growth between 2002 and 2012. Another factor was that they would continue to work after their pregnancy. A comparison of trends was presented by the 2001 population reports. In 1978, or a year before the passage of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the majority of women quit their jobs. But in the early 90s, only less than 27% of them did. The Family and Medical Leave Act was still another factor. Senior associate Jennifer Long of Baker & McKenzie of Chicago, an international legal services firm, offered an explanation. Before 1993, the year when the Act was passed, pregnant women were not as conscious of their rights as afterwards. With its passage, pregnant women became better aware that they were entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if they met the minimum eligibility requirements. Victims also had greater motivation to sue than before because their paychecks formed a greater part of the household budget. Their income was needed during and after the pregnancy. Still another factor to the increase in this type of discrimination was stereotyping. Employers believed that pregnant women could not perform their duties like other workers, would want to work for fewer hours or would become less committed to their jobs. EEOC trial attorney Michael J. O'Brien said that the Commission noted that the last type had been prevalent in the last five years. Long of the Baker & McKenzie company suspected that the actual volume of pregnancy discrimination cases could be more than statistically represented. Women at the professional level or higher were often hesitant to file complaints and claims because of their reputation in the workforce. They felt that damage on their reputation could remain and affect their future abilities. Long believed that discrimination could be worse on women at the lowest job levels. Lower-level managers might not be aware or in tune with legal requirements in dealing with pregnant women. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 requires employers to treat pregnant women in the same way as non-pregnant persons. The Act was an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It entitles pregnant employees to accommodations similarly extended to other employees in similar disabling conditions as those who, for example, figure in an accident. The Act applies to companies with 15 or more employees, while the Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA applies to companies with 50 or more employees. In addition, State laws also provide respective rights and benefits. These rights and benefits are so numerous that employees get confused. Some of these 25 States offer more rights than do federal laws

According to Race. - Coca-Cola Company topped the list of companies, which must pay dearly for pay discrimination practices in the workplace (King 2001). African-American employees in April 1999 sued the Company for a hierarchy, where Blacks' pays were at the lowest scale. It paid the complainants $192.5 million in settlement and still faced a looming $1.5 billion discrimination suit filed against it by Black employees in… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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