Employment discrimination against a member of a protected class is something that any developed society should aim to eliminate. With the current political climate, the public scrutinizes every move that law enforcement is doing, so it only makes sense for them to do due diligence in their daily operations and this includes ensuring there wouldn’t be employment discrimination.
Rick Hodsdon, one of Justice Clearinghouse’s primary legal authority, is back to discuss Title VII Employment Discrimination focused on criminal justice professionals. Rick has been an attorney for more than 40 years where he specialized in civil and criminal matters for the criminal justice arena. His experience allowed him to train government staff on matters concerning civil and criminal litigation, personnel issues, and employment law.
Topics he discussed in detail on this session are:
- A brief history of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII, Employment Discrimination – its purpose, scope, who the law applies to, and what enforces it.
- The amendments in Title VII regarding punitive damages, formative action efforts, and sexual harassment as a form of discrimination.
- What Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications (BFOQ) are and how these provide exceptions in terms of what constitutes discrimination.
- The employer’s burden to prove BFOQ and that decisions or selections were made without discrimination.
- Sources of BFOQ based on legal requirements as:
- One’s citizenship or legality to work within the US.
- State law or administrative rules that provide additional guidelines or requirements for employment in general or in a specific sector.
- BFOQ sources based on job-relatedness of the function proved through:
- The specificity of the written job description.
- The ability of those within a job class to perform or possess what is considered an essential function.
- Job-related testing conducted through written, oral, or physical assessments.
- The protected classes specified in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
- The concept of reasonable accommodation that employers must extend to employees’ religious practices as long as doing so does not create undue hardship to the employer.
- The One-Job-One-Standard rule and the sole exception to this in the corrections setting.
- Sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination and where the liability lies in such cases.
- Hostile or offensive work environment cases that anyone, not just the protected classes, may file as a form of discrimination.
- The two types of discrimination cases, their features, and the primary defenses for these.
- Case examples that provide a better understanding of the legal concepts, requirements, and exceptions.
Questions from the webinar attendees were about:
- Employment-related protections for the LGBTQ+ community.
- Liabilities of the supervisor in employment discrimination cases and applicability of qualified immunity.
- The required type of suffering inflicted on an individual to claim discrimination.
- Using a ranking system instead of a pass/fail for tests.
- Validating BFOQs that provide exceptions to discrimination claims.
- Age discrimination as a totally separate law under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- The potential outcomes of having current employees that do not qualify in the requirements for promotion/hiring/recruitment tests.
- “Loved it was criminal justice-centric. Though many violations never make it the EEOC level and are resolved at the local level, perhaps more nitty-gritty for the field supervisor level. Many of the areas were from a hiring or senior management perspective, hence my comments. Really good presentation and presenter, thank you!” — Brice
- “Everything about this training was valuable. I’m very pleased with the information I received this afternoon regarding updating policies as well as additional information. I appreciate having the survey polls throughout the training.” — Lillie
- “Excellent webinar. A lot of excellent info, CYA Info.” — Robert
- “Great presenter – interesting subject – really great case law examples, leading to interesting discussion questions. THANKS!” — Victoria