AEM_321_TakeNote_Week_6_Notes - AEM 321 TakeNote: Week 6...

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AEM 321 TakeNote: Week 6 Lecture Date: Monday, February 25, 2008 1. Employment Discrimination a. In a recent Gallup Poll, 1 out of 6 employees claimed to be the victim of discrimination b. Only certain types of discrimination are illegal (i.e. favoritism and nepotism aren’t actionable defenses) 2. Although states and municipalities have enacted anti-discrimination legislation, most cases are brought under federal law, which the local laws tend to parallel a. The Equal Pay Act and Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act are the most well known b. State law protections tend to be broader. There is not yet a federal law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual preference c. For federal laws to apply to an employer, it must either ( 1 or 2): i. Engage in interstate commerce ii. Have >= 15 employees iii. The definition of employee follows principal-agent law: does the employer exercise control over this individual’s actions? d. These statutes are broadly drafted, leaving room for the court’s interpretation i. For example, Title VII doesn’t define race or religion (Scientology>) ii. In the first cases brought under this statute, the only relevant races were black and white iii. The 1991 Civil Rights Act was passed to clarify some of the issues presented by evolving co urt precedent e. The Supreme Court decides 1 or 2 of these cases each year, usually where a split-circuit situation exists. i. Lately, these cases have involved same-sex sexual discrimination or sexual harassment issues 3. In a recent case, the court decided that for a plaintiff bringing an unequal pay claim, the statute of limitations time limit starts running as soon as he or she gets the first paycheck a. The statute of limitations is 180 days for these cases 4. A majority of cases in federal court are employment discrimination cases; they have increased dramatically since the statutes listed on the slide were passed a. Employees are also becoming more aware of their rights due to the efforts of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) b. In the EEOC’s FY2006, almost 76,000 complaints were filed. 371 lawsuits were filed by the EEOC, resulting in $44.3M of judgments and $230M of settlements c. The EEOC can conduct its own investigation and then file a lawsuit, or an individual can come to the EEOC with a complaint d. Increasing shares of suits are resolved using ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) such as arbitration, rather than litigation e. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, most suits were about wrongful discharge, but lately most suits have involved hostile environment claims i. These cases are more nebulous and easier to dismiss for lack of merit ii. Plaintiffs are not winning as often or getting smaller judgments when they do f. There appears to be a difference in the frequency of litigation across industries i. “High-Tech” companies see the fewest claims. This industry has a high turnover rate, young employees, and fewer negative traditions entrenched in cultute. Many functions
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AEM_321_TakeNote_Week_6_Notes - AEM 321 TakeNote: Week 6...

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