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At least once a year, each employer in the United States should review the laws regarding equal employment and become familiar with the latest requirements. Failure to abide by current rules and regulations can have disastrous consequences for any business.
Understanding this is especially important with the approaching deadline to file the 2021 EEO-1 Component 1 Report. This mandatory annual data collection of race/ethnicity, sex, and job categories required under section 709(c) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act must be submitted to both the EEOC and U.S. Department of Labor every year. See article EMPLOYER DEADLINE | EEOC Required Workforce Demographic Report Due May 17, 2022.
History of the EEOC and How the Commission Impacts Employers
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency established via the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was created to administer and enforce civil rights laws designed to protect against workplace discrimination.
Although reporting to the EEOC is often limited to large employers, the primary function of the EEOC is to investigate broadly all workplace complaints within three main categories: discrimination, retaliation, and harassment. There are no small business protections against these overall categories.
Within the three main categories are ten specific areas of discrimination that can be investigated: Age, Sex, Disability, Equal Pay, Genetic Information or Family Medical History, Sexual Orientation, National Origin, Race/Color, Pregnancy, and Religion.
Small Business Discrimination Provisions
- If you have at least one employee:You are covered by the law that requires employers to provide equal pay for equal work to male and female employees.
- If you have 15 to 19 employees:You are covered by the laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, disability, and genetic information (including family medical history). You are also covered by the law that requires employers to provide equal pay for equal work.
- If you have 20 or more employees:You are covered by the laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, and genetic information (including family medical history). You are also covered by the law that requires employers to provide equal pay for equal work.
The areas covered by the EEOC are wide-ranging and therefore critical for employers to understand.
The extent of harassment and retaliation in the workplace can take on many forms. Sexual harassment is not just limited to one gender and is a major category in which employers should be well versed. Bullying of employees by other employees, not just by managers, also places employers in a position of responsibility. Retaliation is more prevalent than realized.
In addition to the many EEOC considerations, there are State and Local Government Laws that also apply to each business.
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About Employer Advantage
A New Path to HR Bliss – Trusted for more than 30 years, Employer Advantage frees you from the administrative and compliance burdens of having employees so you can focus on your business success. Versatile enough for companies of all sizes, our unique service combines comprehensive management of your employee administration and compliance with the latest software solutions, tailored to meet your individual needs and company culture. Our full-service management of Human Resources, payroll, health and benefits, workplace safety, and more enhances your profitability while reducing the costs and risks associated with employment law compliance. We provide your employees with top-notch assistance and benefits that help you increase productivity, save time and money, and attract and retain a talented workforce. And for small and mid-sized businesses, we bring you economy of scale with access to Fortune 500-level benefits, specialty assistance, and savings that would not be possible to attain on your own. Headquartered in the Midwest and serving more than 500 companies and 10,000 worksite employees throughout the country, Employer Advantage is an IRS-Certified Professional Employer Organization (PEO) (CPEO). Experienced, certified, and trusted. www.EmployerAdvantage.com