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44 Managerial L. 3 (2002)

handle is hein.journals/ijlm44 and id is 1 raw text is: A Statistical Look at Judicial Decisions
Concerning Employment Law
by Andrew Cicmanec and Brian H. Kleiner
The Civil Rights Era has brought long strides in the abolition of discrimination. Most re-
cently, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1991, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
of 1967, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 pro-
tect employees from discrimination today. To enforce these laws the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was created and is seen as an ever increasing presence
in the workplace. Even with the efforts of the EEOC, individual civil suits continue to rise
according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. With these facts, employers are realising that
ignoring discrimination in the workplace may be a costly mistake.
EEOC and Employment Law
The EEOC was created by and enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act
makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, colour, sex, preg-
nancy, or national origin. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act,
and the Americans with Disabilities Act which followed are dependant upon the EEOC's
enforcement and help to specify and broaden the agencies jurisdiction. The EEOC was un-
der funded and under staffed in the early years, which resulted in a backlog of pending
charges. More recently, the EEOC has been able to turn this around and reduce its backlog
as well as win some high-profile lawsuits to improve its image.
Upon receiving a charge of discrimination, the agency assigns a priority to it. If the
charge meets all the basic criteria, it can conduct an investigation, recommend mediation,
attempt conciliation, or pursue litigation.
In the investigation stage the EEOC conducts a lengthy evaluation of the company, the
relevant persons involved and collection of any pertinent data. Investigations are usually
avoided since they are very expensive and tend to back up the system.
Mediation is the preferable initial method, which is used on a voluntary basis. Fortu-
nately, mediation has inspired 36% of employers and 81% of charging parties to use it in
1999. Of these cases, 65% were settled saving the EEOC time and resources.
As a last resort, the EEOC will attempt to conciliate (obtain a settlement) or litigate a
lawsuit filed on behalf of the employee. This action is uncommon and done if the violations
are flagrant.
Race Based Charges
Race is still the most frequent charge filed with the EEOC, accounting for 37.3% of total
charges filed in 1999. Since 1991, race charges have declined and they are the most likely

Managerial Law


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