I have researched several employment laws for Mr. Stonefield’s Landslide Limousine Company and there are four laws that I will outline for Mr. Stonefield to consider complying with in his new business venture. I will discuss in this memo the Civil Rights Act of 1964 regarding employment discrimination, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 regarding people with disabilities, Equal Pay Act of 1963 regarding wage discrimination between men and women, and lastly the Texas Minimum Wage Act regarding the least amount of an hourly wage payable in the state of Texas. I will give a brief summary of each of the four Acts and consequences for noncompliance.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is regulated and enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). As a new business, if you receive any federally funded monies such as grants, assistance, or subsidies The Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to you. The EEOC “enforces laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age in hiring, promoting, firing, setting wages, testing, training, apprenticeship, and all other terms and conditions of employment” (The United States National Archives and Records Administration, n.d., para. 3). The Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for employers to “fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions or privileges or employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” (The United States National Archives and Records Administration, n.d., para. 2).
The Civil Rights Act has been expanded to include subsequent legislation. According to the United States Government Manual of 1998-99, “the EEOC enforces laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age in hiring, promoting, firing, setting wages, testing, training, apprenticeship, and all other terms and conditions of employment” (The United States National Archives and Records Administration, n.d., para. 3). Protected classes now include race, color, creed, sex, and age. As you can see, the spectrum of inclusion has been increased to protect the employee.
Consequences for noncompliance
Once a business has been found to be in violation of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 the penalties are substantial. Consequences for violating The Civil Rights Act can result in federal funding can be withdrawn for a specific time or terminated and monetary fines. Marion Shaub, a former Federal Express (FedEx) truck driver, sued her employer after she reported anti-female comments, hostility, and retaliation when she reported the incidents. The EEOC reports “The jury found Federal Express liable for a sex-based hostile work environment and retaliation and awarded Ms. Shaub $391,400 in back pay and front pay, $350,000 in compensatory damages for emotional pain and distress, and $2.5 million dollars in punitive damages” (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC], 2004, para. 2).
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 “prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities” (United States Department of Labor [DOL], n.d., para. 1). The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees that have disabilities or may have accessibility requirements to be able to use public accommodations. Under the ADA, disabilities include physical and mental conditions with varying degrees of severity. A few examples are deafness, blindness, missing limbs, epilepsy, cancer, and mental retardation. The Department of Labor provides assistance with the ADA but four federal agencies are responsible for enforcing the ADA. Those four agencies are the EEOC, The Department of Transportation (DOT), The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and The Department of Justice (DOJ).
Consequences for noncompliance
As with The Civil Rights Act of 1964, withdrawal and termination of federal funds is possible of companies that violate The ADA. One example is Bates v. United Parcel Service (UPS). This particular case brought against UPS brought to issue “the hearing standard that is part of the DOT physical” (Case Law Find Law, 2015, para. 9). The plaintiffs contended that even with a hearing disability and not passing the DOT hearing test they were still able to operate vehicles that were below the required gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10, 001 pounds. UPS agreed to pay $5.8 million and to create a program that was implemented nationally throughout UPS.
Equal Pay Act of 1963
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 states, “Employers may not pay unequal wages to men and women who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions within the same establishment” (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM], 2015, para. 2). What this means is that men and women are to be given equal pay for doing the same types of work however, the work does not have to be exactly the same but equal, within the same employer. Skill, effort, responsibility, working conditions, and establishment are factors that employers must keep in mind when paying wages to men and women doing similar jobs in similar work environments. Wage differences can exists when merit, seniority, or any other factor exists as long as it is not a person’s gender. When there are wage differences the burden of proof falls on the employer to prove why the difference exists. Consequences of noncompliance
Corning Glass Works violated the Equal Pay Act by paying male employees who work a night inspection shift a higher wage than females doing the same inspections during the day inspection shift. Corning Glass also tried to correct this by opening up the night inspection shift to women and implemented a unionized shift differential to equalize pay however, employee employed prior to the changes continued to receive higher wages continuing to create a difference in pay. The Secretary of Labor brought the charges against Corning to collect back wages for the women who had been violated. Texas Minimum Wage Act
The Texas Minimum Wage Act (TMWA) provides information about rights and duties for both employees and employers. The TMWA establishes the minimum wage at $7.25, requires employers to provide a written statement of an employee’s earnings, outlines provisions for agricultural workers, provides exemptions for different types of employers, and civil penalties for violations. All employers must display the current Texas minimum wage poster in an obstruction free area so that all employees can see what the minimum wage is and their rights as workers in Texas.
Recommendations for Compliance
In closing, compliance with Federal, State, County, and City laws is strongly recommended. Landslide Limousine Company can be shut down and fined heavily for violations brought by employees. The burden of proof is on you as the employer and understanding all of the laws applicable to your business is necessary. Investigations by any of the federal departments who are responsible for investigating and enforcing the employment laws can tie up your resources for months, possibly years. However, not all judgments go against the employer. My recommendation is to understand the laws, document well, keep pristine records, and do your best to remind within the guidelines for employers.
Case Law Find Law. (2015). BATES v. UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC UPS. Retrieved
from http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1242057.html Society for Human Resource Management. (2015). Equal Pay Act of 1963. Retrieved from http://www.shrm.org/legalissues/federalresources/federalstatutesregulationsandguidanc/pages/equalpayactof1963.aspx The United States National Archives and Records Administration. (n.d.). Teaching With Documents: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Retrieved from http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/civil-rights-act/ United States Department of Labor. (n.d.). Disability Resources Americans with Disabilities Act. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/ada.htm United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2004). Federal Express to Pay over $3.2 Million to Female Truck Driver for Sex Discrimination, Retaliation. Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/2-25-04.cfm