Answers to today's legal questions through blogs and articles

Tag: Civil Rights Act of 1964

Drop The Box Initiative

What is The Drop The Box Initiative?

On Monday, November 2, 2015, President Obama introduced the concept of the “Drop the Box” initiative in a speech given at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey.  The President announced a new executive order which will be geared to prohibit federal agencies from requesting job applicants to reveal if they have a criminal record.  This initiative is part of Mr. Obama’s overall criminal justice reform effort.  The “Drop the Box” initiative would allow prospective employees not to check a box on some federal applications that acknowledge a criminal record, which essentially thwarts any potential employee who possesses a criminal record from obtaining a government job.  The President says he hopes that one day all companies could abide by this principle, not just federal agencies, and cites the good works of large companies like Koch Industries, Target and Wal-Mart who have already eliminated the question posed of a prior criminal record from their job applications.  Now, it is up to Congress to pass the legislation and push for nationwide acceptance of the “Drop the Box” campaign.

Employee Protection Laws in the United States

The EEOC or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was developed and created through the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  However, it has a mission that has been shaped by numerous pieces of legislation. It may have seemed to start simple enough but over the years many laws and amendments have continued to expand the role, responsibilities and authority of the EEOC. There are many pieces of legislation that make up the employment protection laws of the United States.

What is the EEOC?

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the EEOC is a federal agency which has the responsibility of enforcing federal laws which prohibit discrimination of any kind in the workplace. Employment laws are in place which make it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an applicant or an employee based on the individual’s color, race, gender, state of pregnancy, religion, age (40 years old and above), national origin, genetic information or disability. Retaliation against a person who complains about or reports discrimination, files a discrimination claim, or participates in an investigation about employment discrimination is also prohibited. Most employers who have a minimum of 15 employees must abide by EEOC laws. In age discrimination cases the company has to have at least 20 employees. Most employment agencies and labor unions are covered by EEOC laws as well. Discrimination laws are applicable to all kinds of work situations such as hiring and firing, harassment, wages, benefits, training and promotions.