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Introduction

A recruitment exercise is a set of activities done to attract, evaluate, and to select a qualified person that best meets the requirement for a job. In the U.S, congress has drafted and enacted several bills that seek to protect the its citizens from any kind of discrimination that might be on the basis of gender, age, nation of origin, physical disability, and race.  

The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1997 was drafted and enacted to prohibit employment discrimination based on national origin, race, sex, and religion (Perritt, 2008). Section 2000e-2 of the act stipulates that, it shall be an unlawful employment practice for any employer to decline to hire or to discharge a person, or otherwise to discriminate against a person on the basis of his or her compensation, conditions, terms, or privileges of employment, on the basis of such a person’s gender, religion, and race. It also stipulates that, it would be unlawful for an employer to segregate, limit, or classify his or her employees or job applicants in a manner that would segregate or deny him/her equal opportunities or otherwise unfavorably interfere with his or her status as an employee on the basis of color, religion or gender (Perritt, 2008).     

The Civil Rights Act was enacted into law by congress back in the year 1991. The drafting and enactment of this law by congress was motivated by the some seven decisions that had been made by the Supreme Court (Burstein, 1994). Some of these decisions were viewed as having the intention of changing the well-known platform of discrimination law, and bring doubt concerning the existing standards. Among the Supreme Court decisions which were addressed were that of Price Waterhouse vs. Hopkins of 1989, and Wards Cove Packing Co. vs. Antonio. The Act also amended a number of statutes enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, both substantively and procedurally.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 (EEOA), was meant to extend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making its provisions, including Title VII, applicable even to the state and local governments (Burstein, 1994). The act was successful in expanding the jurisdiction and strengthening the powers of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It gave room to employees of state and local governments to file employment description suits with the EEOC.

The Act also strengthened the commission’s investigatory powers by allowing it to document allegations of discrimination better. With the strengthened investigatory powers, the United States Department of Justice was also permitted to sue public authorities for violation of Title VII. Therefore, the EEO Act is the one that gives the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission authority to sue non compliant individuals in federal courts when it comes to its attention any reasonable cause to believe that there has been any kind of employment discrimination that is on the basis of gender, race, religion or natural origin. In the case of public employment, the matter is referred to the States Attorney General by the EEOC, who in turn brings the law suit (Burstein, 1994).

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 categorically prohibits employment discrimination against individuals forty years of age or older. Prior to the drafting and enactment of the law, it had come to the attention of congress that, older workers were finding themselves disadvantaged in their attempts to keep their employment opportunity, and more so even harder to regain employment after displacement at their job areas (DIANE, 1994). This was in the face of rising productivity and affluence in the country. It stipulated that, it shall be unlawful for an employing authority to decline to hire or discharge an individual because of such an individual’s age.

It would also be unlawful under the act, to segregate, limit, or classify, employees in a manner which would deny employment opportunities or maybe affect his status as an employee due to individual’s age; or even reduce the wage rate of this person in order to comply with this order (DIANE, 1994).

The Americans with Disability Act of 1990 as amended, recognizes and protects the civil rights of people with disabilities. It was crafted after earlier landmark laws prohibited discrimination on the base of sex and race. The act generally covers a wide range of disability and addresses matters to do with; access to the workplace which is covered under title 1 of the draft law; access of state and local government services which is under the second Title; and access to venues of public accommodation and commercial facilities which is under the third title (Chambliss, 1993). The law also stipulates that, phone companies must provide telecommunications relay services for persons with hearing and speech impairments, as well as the miscellaneous instructions to Federal agencies that enforce the law (Chambliss, 1993).

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 amended the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 to better control unauthorized immigration. A number of congressmen felt that, the issue of immigration was getting out of control because immigrants who were in the country both legally and illegally were then accounting for averagely a third to a half of the American population growth. To control this issue, congress saw it right to withdraw the incentive that allowed people to enter America by disallowing illegal immigrants working opportunities or even receiving any benefit from government. The Immigration Reform and Control Act provide sanctions that, stiffly penalizes anyone who knowingly hires an employee who is not legally allowed to work in the country (Chambliss, 1993).

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted in 1938. A number of amendments have been since made to the law since it was passed, establishing a minimum wage, over-time pay, record-keeping, and child-labor standards impacting negatively on workers in both the public and private sector (Chambliss, 1993).

A critical look at the laws shows that they intertwine in the way the categorically prohibits employment discrimination, that is on the basis of race, age, religion, gender, physical disabilities, and national origin. There are those laws that were extended from previous ones enforcing the rules and regulations that are meant to protect persons from employment discrimination. In case of non-compliance, the above acts have placed statutory caps regarding the size of damages that could be awarded for future economic losses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

Conclusion

The above laws impact the recruitment and selection process in a huge way. They were meant to protect the American citizens from employment discrimination that may be on the basis of age, gender, physical disability, race, religion, and national origin. Until now, reports show that the laws have been successful in improving working environments as compared to the time before their enactments. In any country, it important for people to have the chance to go through a fair recruitment exercise of evaluation, and be selected on the basis of his or her qualification. Equality in opportunities in necessary in build a socially, and economically strong society where people’s worth are valued.

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