BFOQ Defense against Claims of Discrimination in the Workplace

BFOQ Defense against Claims of Discrimination in the Workplace

Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) defense is provided under section 703(e) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. According to it, it is not against the law to hire employees based on national origin, religion, or sex when such a differentiation is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of a particular business. Employers can use this defense against claims of discrimination in the workplace . However, this defense is of a limited character. For instance, when during hiring process an employer differentiates candidates based on sex, it should follow the guidelines established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The guidelines provide a list of exceptions, which do not […]

Disparate Impact and How to Avoid It

Disparate Impact and How to Avoid It

In Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971) the US Supreme Court dealt with a specific situation when seemingly neutral employment policies led to discrimination in the workplace . The Court ruled that the employer violated the law when the company required that all applicants in order to qualify for a job or transfer should have a high school diploma or to pass a standardized general intelligence test. As a result of that employment practice, Afro-American candidates were disqualified in much higher numbers than Caucasian candidates, i.e. it had a disparate impact. The problem was that the hiring practice was not “significantly related” to a successful job performance. […]

Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) gives eligible employees an opportunity to take unpaid leave for certain personal medical conditions or to take care of a family member. Eligible employees are those who worked for their employer for at least 12 months and at least 1,250 hours during those 12 months. The company you work for should also have at least 50 employees who work within 75 miles of its location. If these FMLA eligibility requirements are complied with, you are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for your own serious medical conditions, or to take care of […]

What Is At-Will Employment?

What Is At-Will Employment?

The concept of “at-will employment” basically means that an employer can fire its employee for any reason or no reason at all without warning. On the other hand, an employee can quit whenever he or she wants to. The doctrine of “at-will employment” or emerged at the end of the 19th century, when government intervened very little in issues related to business and employment relations. It was the time when the free market dictated all employment policies. Later the labor movement and collective bargaining eliminated employment at-will for unionized workers. Employers were supposed to demonstrate a “just cause” before applying disciplinary measures or firing an employee of the organized company. […]

Women’s Wages vs. Men’s Wages in 2015

Women’s Wages vs. Men’s Wages in 2015

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2015 men’s earnings were growing twice as fast as women’s. Does it mean that the gender gap in earnings is widening despite many official measures aimed at fighting the pay inequality at workplace? The question remains: why women still earn less than men? Unfortunately, there is no a simple answer to this question. First, the data is not that straight forward as it can seem. Yes, men’s earnings were growing twice as much as women’s, but only during the first three quarters of 2015. In the fourth quarter of 2014 the growth was equal. In the third quarter of 2014 the difference […]