Many workers that work on an hourly wage have no benefits, no sick days, and very little time off. Bosses often take little to no consideration of even the simplest at work aids that may increase pregnant worker comfort ability, such as being able to sit down or carry a water bottle. The simple truth is that pregnant employment is seen as an inconvenience at best, unfortunately seeing as this is nothing short of discrimination. Judging pregnant employment harshly is illegal, a practice that can lead to major finds and millions of dollars in lawsuits. Sensitivity training and an overhaul of human resource practices are the only sure fire ways to create a benchmark that employers and employees can adhere to. The facts are that child birth is a human right, and denying someone employment based on a human right is a clear violation of the EEOC guidelines that have been taught to nearly every business in the US.
There were more than twenty cases opened against companies by the agency for equal employment. There has been a phenomenon emerging that has forced pregnant women to go on maternity leave, then discharging for no other reason. Most of these twenty plus cases involved employers explicitly stating that pregnancy was indeed the reason, many lower waged business do not have the resources to allow workers to take time off. In their minds it easy to cut a worker than pay them unnecessarily, however they are unaware that this practice as it relates to pregnancy is illegal. Another big problem in employment is the EEOC has found is that discrimination has also come in the form of not allowing simple concessions to pregnant workers, and then firing them based on their inability to follow company guide lines. For instance a woman was fired via text message after telling her boss her doctor was late to her appointment, which would make her late.
Is there such a thing as a pregnancy bias in the work place today? Many analysts say that indeed it does and it is a clear violation of fair employment regulations. Although it may seem as if blatant violations of employment regulations such as this are no longer that wide spread, however this is far from the truth. In a recent a study it was found that a woman was told during the hiring process that they were denying her application because of her pregnancy. The woman went on to report the business, sue the manager, and receive a punitive award. Unfortunately, many times cases are not as clear cut as this one, often employers are not bold enough to brazenly state openly that a pregnant women has no place in their company. Analysts say the issue is rooted in ignorance, as many don’t know the laws or have preconceived biases against pregnancy women. Continued…
Young workers in the U.S. have enjoyed the sharpest rise in their employment opportunities in the last three months since the recession began, with approximately 650,000 jobs being added. This is especially good news for that “lost generation” as they were one of the groups hardest hit by the recession. They can now claim that they account for almost two-thirds of employment increases since August, while the remaining third consisted of older workers. Those in the middle age groups actually saw a decrease of 212,000 jobs in the same period. Economists and labor experts warn that the young should not get too comfortable, as in the event of another economic downturn, the young are usually the first to be fired. Also, the raw data does not tell the whole story, such as the quality of the job. Most frequently the young are entering dead end retail or hospitality positions rather than ones with training and the possibility for growth.
3M is looking to settle for a suspected three million dollars to its nearly two hundred ninety former employees. The claims against the office supplies company are that it violated the EEOC and was age discriminatory. Ultimately employees claimed that in the three years since 2003, a disproportionate number of forty five and older employees were terminated without just cause. The EEOC launched a full investigation and found there to be some evidence of discrimination. The settlement is a big win for employees, it puts necessary money in their pocket, and more importantly affects many of the policies that 3M has. One such policy is that all managers must take training on age discrimination when dealing with all future employment. I also requires them to restructure the hiring and firing process in future dealings. In the end the lawsuit was not about money, but about changing the way people do business especially as it pertains to dealing with mature worker.
Prudential Financial, Inc. has decided to expand its veteran employment and training program through Workforce Opportunity Services in response to the increase in veterans returning home from international conflicts. The program is dubbed “VETalent” and is available through partnerships with Penn State, University of North Florida, and Rutgers. The program was started in 2009 in order to train Iraq and Afghanistan was veterans for information technology employment opportunities. After completing the WOS’ academic component, sponsor companies hire the veterans as consultants, and later consider them for full-time employment. The vice president of Veterans Initiatives for the financial company says that their efforts are to combat the reality that veterans face higher unemployment rates than non-veterans and offer a unique skill set to the corporate workforce. In addition to the training aspect of the program, the VETalent offers career guidance, which the WOS chairman says many other programs fail to do.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Services hosted an even dubbed “Hiring Our Heroes” to improve employment prospects for veterans in today’s economy. The event took place in Northeaster Wisconsin with the help of local chambers of commerce and was attended by approximately 350 veterans. According to the University of Phoenix Research Institute, many recent veterans have difficulties finding civilian employment because of injuries, lack of transition assistance, and barriers to translating their military experience to their employers. Many of the veterans in attendance are employed but fear the fragility of the labor market or are considered underemployed. Government officials who attended the employment expo applauded the businesses for their participation and reminded them that they should be hiring the veterans not because they thought it was the right thing to do for their country, but because the veterans’ honed leadership skills would benefit their businesses.
Under the Disability Employment Initiative, the U.S. Department of Labor has announced $21 million in funding for education improvements, employment opportunities, and training for the unemployed or underemployed who receive Social Security Benefits. The funding and planning for this effort is also supported by the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and the Office of Disability Employment Policy. The funding is set to go out to seven states, to provide support and assistance to people with disabilities seeking secure employment. The initiative already provides funding in sixteen state projects. The projects require that the staff hired have experience in workforce and disability issues and that the disability service systems coordinate with workforce systems. In addition, the initiative expands participation with the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program. The program and funding is primarily designed to get those with disabilities who want to work into the workforce, but also to reduce dependence on Social Security Disability benefits by securing employment for disabled youth before they need the assistance.
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Washington – Ina riveting and bold presentation to congress Alice Rivlin urged and at some points pleaded with Congress to aggressively take steps to not only promote growth and stability, but to ward off another recession. She hands them the idea that stabilizing the economy and driving down national debt are not mutually exclusive goals, but instead are very much complimentary, and reinforce one another in the long run. Her idea that the faster Americans return to employment will ease the strenuous task of stabilizing the national budget. Her ideals are not radical, nor does she call for specific policies to enact these ideals. In fact, she even recognizes the difficulty of the task at hand, her message is simply to reinforce the idea that stability and employment go hand in hand. To achieve one , government must actively approach and rework the other.
As president Obama heads in to reelection many are unsatisfied with his performance much of it centers on his job bill that has Congress divided. The bill is modest approach to combating unemployment in the U.S., attempting to reduce the unemployment rate by a single percentage over the next year. Republicans disagree fiercely on the merits of the employment bill, often bringing a colder approach which centers on easing taxes to business owners allowing them to potentially hire as they please. Many hold the belief that it is not the government place to provide jobs, in an economy that is based on free uninterrupted commerce, the idea of government stepping in is practically unconstitutional. However, I present this question that if it not the responsibility of the government, then who’s it? Often times I have listened to republicans say that it is not their responsibility to provide jobs, yet never do they definitively say whose responsibility it is. Irony, it reminds me of grade school as the teacher as ‘who did it?’, to which a room full of shaking heads and pointing fingers ensue.