The Equal Employment Opportunity Act

The Equal Employment Opportunity Act






The Equal Employment Opportunity Act

The equal employment opportunity act as a law has protected the rights of numerous employees in the American job market. These laws were enacted by the commission in charge of the equal employment opportunity in the United States. This commission is in charge of ensuring that every individual is entitled to an equal employment opportunity when the right time comes (GSA, 2012). Every year the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) files more than two hundred work related discrimination

In 1975, the Age Discrimination Act was enacted. This law prohibits workplace discrimination in terms of age in accordance with the programs received federal financial assistance (Burstein, 1994). This law stipulates that individuals who have attained the age of forty and above should not be excluded from employment privileges, they have equal rights of being hired based on merit like the other company employees (Burstein, 1994), age should not be a reason for firing them and in their work places, and they have a right to be promoted. The civil right centre is in charge of ensuring the discrimination act is followed to the latter.

Title I and Title V was amended in 1990 under the American with disabilities act to protect individuals from discrimination. In the past, disabled individuals had a really hard time looking for employment because the employers employed people in terms of their physique. When the disabilities act was implemented, it ensured disabled individuals were accorded with the stipulated employment conditions based on their merits, they were entitled to promotion, hiring, training workshops in the work place and other employment benefits available. These acts also prevent employers from judging their employees because of their mental of physical disability but treat them equally and judge them according to their performance. An example of the American with disabilities act was between the Waffle House Incorporation versus the EEOC filing for Eric Baker (US Supreme Court Centre, 2002). This case was filed after Eric baker was fired by the employer, Waffle House because he suffered a seizure while at work. He filed a timely discrimination charge whereby his rights under the Title I disabilities act were violated. The EEOC claimed Eric’s employer was discriminative towards their employers and the basis of firing him was intentional and malicious. The complaint was requesting for compensation and punitive measure to be carried out to the company (US Supreme Court Centre, 2002). According to the judge, both the complaint and the company ought to come to an arbitrary agreement. The verdict stated that (US Supreme Court Centre, 2002). The Waffle House Company ended up incurring a lot of unnecessary costs because of their mistake and they had to compensate the disabled employee Eric Baker and then employ him again in one of their company outlet.

In the past, a lot of people especially the women suffered a lot and became disadvantaged against in the employment industry. In terms of payment, they obtained minimal wages irrespective of the quality of work done. The Title VII was amended in 1963 under the Civil Rights Act to make sure there is equality in the form of payment between men and women in the work place. This law stipulates that women should be given opportunities especially managerial opportunities at work based on their academic qualifications, it also prohibits female discrimination during hiring and promotion too.

In the past, employment discrimination affected numerous individuals among the affected were the minority in the society, those who do not belong to the same ethnic community. Genetics was one aspect that had a lot of discrimination among the employers. Because of this, the Title II was amended in 2008 under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act to protect individuals under such areas. The act prohibits employers from showing favoritism to individuals who are related in one way or the other be it in terms of genes or any other ethnic aspect. It encourages equality based on genetic information during hiring, job workshops, promotion and other employment related issues (Connolly & Connolly, 1979). This law prohibits employers from getting their employees’ genetic details and disclosure of genetic information at the workplace. The genetic information includes the individual’s tests, details of their family members in case they have disease that are recurring and hereditary disorders, and a receipt of the applicant’s genetic services that have been provided (Connolly & Connolly, 1979).

One legal proceeding, which involves genetic discrimination was a case filed by Michael Peel against his employee, Nestle Food Company in 2010 (Wagner & Vorhaus, 2012). The complaint was on the basis of acquiring the employee’s genetic information by the company through undertaking a medical assessment terming it fitness for duty test (Wagner & Vorhaus, 2012). This information included the employee’s family medical history and after acquiring this information, the company terminated Mr. Peel’s employment. Under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, an employer should not ask for their employee’s family record history as a means of employment. Because of this, the company was issue with a subpoena to disclose prior information regarding employee- employer disclosure of their genetic information (Wagner & Vorhaus, 2012). The case ended with Mr. Peel being compensated as per the GINA act and Nestle Company ended up being investigated further (Wagner & Vorhaus, 2012). The Equal Employment Opportunity Act aims at ensuring that workplaces have rules and policies governing their workers. These rules will ensure that the workers work at their maximum capabilities in the career pursuits without and fear. This act also aims at creating awareness and protecting individuals who are employed.


Burstein, P. (1994). Equal Employment Opportunity: Labor Market Discrimination and Public Policy. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.

Connolly, W. B. & Connolly, M. J. (1979). Practical Guide to Equal Employment Opportunity. New York. Law Journal Press.

US General Services Administration. (2012). Equal Employment Opportunity. Retrieved December 01, 2012, from Supreme Court Centre. (2002). Retrieved December 01, 2012, from, J. K. & Vorhaus, D. (2012). The Burden of Enforcing GINA: EEOC v. Nestle illustrates One Challenging Pursuit Genetic Discrimination claims. Retrieved December 01, 2012, from