Equal Employment Opportunity & HRM
One of the critical milestones in the United States regarding civil rights is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act not only outlawed discrimination by sex, place of origin, race, religion, color but also ensured that unequal representation based on sex and gender in workplaces was completely abolished. In addition, this Act ensured that there was no harassment in areas of work. Therefore, a balance has been found in the critical areas of public accommodation, such as workplaces, schools, and other facilities that provide services to the public. The initial power given to enforce this law were weak in the earlier stages, but has strengthened through the years. Among the various protections given to citizens by this act, one of the laws developed in later years has been the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). This law, which was passed in 1967, prevents the discrimination in the labor sector due to age, but instead advocates for employment based on ability. Therefore, problems arising due to employment and age are resolved as a result of this law. The essay discusses the issues faced by Plump n’ Stuffy Stuffed Pepper Company located in Jackson, Mississippi, in finding out if the company is acting in violation of the Employment Act or not.
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Demographics of Jackson, Mississippi portray the city as one that is not racially biased. This is because almost all races are represented in the city. According to the United States Census Bureau, Jackson’s population is comprised of 79.4% African Americans, 18.4% Caucasian, 0.1% Native Americans, 0.4 % Asian American, and 0.9% from two other races (Area Vibes, 2016). From these statistics, it is evident that African Americans are the majority of the labor population of the city. They hold more than three-quarters of the entire population. Therefore, this information becomes relevant in deciding the case of the Plump n’ Stuffy Stuffed Pepper Company.
The analyzed company processes both fresh and frozen stuffed peppers which are sold throughout the United States. The company, whose location is in Jackson, Mississippi, has 202 employees in its processing plant. Its employees are young with 74% being between 22-30 years. Part of the labor force works in the cleaning department, and all are Caucasian. As a qualification for the cleaning crew, one must possess a high-school diploma or GED. From this information, the company needs to make various changes to be able to comply with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in total.
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The first compliance that Plump n’ Stuffy Stuffed Pepper Company needs to make is the age compliance as with the ADEA. According to this Act, employers should not be discriminated due to age, but should be weighed by their competency levels (“Age Discrimination in Employment Act,” n.d.). This law defines an employer as an association or corporation who is engaged in an industry that is affecting trade. From this description, Plump n’ Stuffed Pepper Company qualifies as an employer. The company is involved in selling pepper across the whole of the United States, thus, counts as an industry that affects the commerce of the USA. An employer is further said to have 20 or more employees. Since Plump n’ Stuffy Stuffed Pepper has 220 employees, this characteristic also allows qualifying the company as an employer. The latter must also have a working relationship with the employee, the kind that the company has with its employees. Therefore, Plump n’ Stuffy Stuffed Pepper Company is in violation of the ADEA. This is because the majority of its employees are only aged between 22 and 30 years. Instead, the management should balance its workforce by giving equal opportunity to competent older employees. Doing this ensures that the company complies with the AD EA.
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The other compliance that the Plump n’ Stuffy Stuffed Pepper Company needs to make is that with regard to race. According to HR Hero Line, the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, or age. The company’s cleaning crew comprises of workers who are Caucasian. The company has also set a cleaning requirement where each worker in the cleaning department needs to have a high-school diploma or a GED. According to the statistics of the working population found in Jackson, Caucasians represent about 18.4% of the population as compared to the African Americans who are the majority, representing about 79.4% (American Fact Finder, 2010). Having a workforce in the cleaning department of only Caucasians and further putting a requirement that each of the workers either possesses a high-school diploma or a GED means that the company is not in compliance with this law. Referring to the Griggs vs. Duke Power Company (1971), the Supreme Court ruled that the employment details required by the company did not relate to the workers’ ability to do their job; hence, the employer was discriminating against the African American employees (Case Law, 2016). In this case, the Duke Power Company was involved in generating, transmitting, distributing, and selling electrical power to two States in the country. Thus, the company was subject to this discrimination law. The company also had a high school diploma as an added requirement for its high-end jobs (Justia, 2016). In the ruling, the judge said that such an action had an adverse impact on the African American minority. The judge added that such a test needed to demonstrate the relationship of the test with the job at hand. Therefore, if a test, or in the case the high-school diploma or GED, does not prove that there is a relationship with the job, then, such a requirement is not in compliance with the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
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From the case of Griggs vs. Duke Power Company (1971), it is evident that Plump n’ Stuffy Stuffed Pepper Company is not in compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Hence, making a requirement for the workers in the cleaning department to hold a GED or high school diploma is not in compliance with the Act since the high-school diploma or GED does not have any related reasonably to the cleaning job. Therefore, to be in compliance with this Act, the company needs to remove this requirement for the cleaning job so as to allow African Americans to be able to get those positions. Again, the company needs to adjust its employment regulations to be able to open an opportunity for the African Americans in the cleaning job. Otherwise, the company will not be in compliance with the IDEA and the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
In conclusion, one of the milestones made in civil rights of the United States is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In this Act, discrimination of employers against age, religion, race or even gender is prohibited; hence, the law grants protection against employers who discriminate their employees. The case of Plump n’ Stuffy Stuffed Pepper Company shows a company that is not in compliance with any of these laws. About three-quarters of the employees are aged between 22 and 30, and all employees in the cleaning department are Caucasian, with a requirement that they either possess a high-school diploma or a GED to work in the unit. Therefore, to avoid prosecution due to discrimination, the company should ensure that it does not discriminate against race or age.