Activists for employee rights in California and across the United States are concerned with a policy by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that provides employers a way to escape accountability when discrimination happens in the workplace. Activists say that these measures are unacceptable in a time when the #Me Too movement has provided individuals with the protection to speak out against their abusers.
The EEOC is the government agency tasked with enforcing the provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and providing the protections that guard against discrimination in the workplace. The commission has historically avoided influence from politics and has been the first line of defense for the government’s anti-discrimination efforts, but activists say that a change has occurred.
The controversy stems from a rule proposed by President Trump’s choice for chair of the commission, Janet Dhillon. Experts on the matter say that the rules will impede the ability of the EEOC to file a complaint against an employer in violation of the government’s anti-discrimination laws. Opponents of the rule proposed by Dhillon say that the chair is hampering the ability of the agency to repeat past successes it enjoyed at winning court cases against discriminatory employers in the past.
The specifics of Dhillon’s proposal involve a provision that the EEOC must seek to resolve any wrongdoing by an employer before opting for litigation. Critics of Dhillon says that she has created a “code of conduct” regarding proposed reconciliation that allows employers to remove the focus from their alleged discriminatory actions and place it on the procedures used by the EEOC. Opponents also characterize Dhillon’s proposal as another example of the Trump Administration’s willingness to prioritize the interests of big business over the rights of American workers.
Labor and employment laws protect workers from unfair treatment in the workplace as a result of age, sex, religion or other personal identifying factors. These laws are comprehensive and can require help to navigate. Individuals who have endured discrimination while at work may be able to secure the compensation they deserve with the assistance of an employment law attorney.