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The Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA) of 1990 provides protection from discrimination on behalf of state and local governments, agencies, and private employers to qualified employees with disabilities. The areas covered by the Act include application procedures, hiring, work conditions, compensation, promotion, training, firing, etc. The Act is applicable to all employers having more than 15 employees as well as employment agencies and labor organizations. The Act forces employers to provide reasonable accommodation to workers with disabilities (Thompson, 2015). This requirement refers to adjustments that would make it possible for such individuals to enjoy comfortable work conditions and feel equal.
Since there are several people having disabilities in my organization, the ADA produces a considerable impact on their daily work experience. For instance, there is an employee who suffers from diabetes. He is provided with regular breaks during the day to be able to maintain the insulin level, eat-in short periods of time, and make injections if necessary. Another employee, who is blind, is given oral instruction in person instead of emailing.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), being an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits sex discrimination against women affected by pregnancy or related conditions. The Act states that such women must be treated the same as other employees, on the basis of their ability or inability to meet job requirements. As a result, an employer cannot use pregnancy as a reason for refusing to hire a female worker. Neither can prejudice of colleagues or customers serve as an excuse. The Act covers all aspects, including salary, promotions, benefits, training, sick leaves, and other factors that must not be affected by pregnancy (Grossman, 2016).
I believe that the PDA is responsible for a big number of female employees working in my organization. Otherwise, the top management would rather be unwilling to accept women who are likely to take long leave after childbirth, which makes the company lose money.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (the ADEA) of 1967 prohibits job discrimination related to age. The problem the Act addresses it that in the face of high productivity of young employees, older workers may fail to retain their positions or to find a new job in case they feel disadvantaged and want to quit (Neumark & Button, 2014).
The ADEA played a crucial role in my organization as it removed the arbitrary age limits and shifted the focus of attention from age to performance indicators. Therefore, older workers do not feel disadvantaged and are motivated to outperform the younger.
In my opinion, this law is indeed the most helpful one for my company. This is accounted for by the fact that the number of older employees in it is on the rise. If the leaders of the organization did not have any restrictions in connection to them, this would lead to an increase in turnover. Workers, in their turn, will have to experience long-term unemployment, which typically brings about the loss of skill and considerable reduction in acceptability for other employers.
Thus, as an HR manager, I would do my best to eliminate disparate treatment in this or any other case of discrimination. If a middle manager is accused of improper treatment of older employees, immigrants, people with disabilities, pregnant women, or racial minorities, I will first make a warning to him/her. If the manager persists in his/her unwillingness to change the conduct, I will have to invite the person for a private conversation to be able to clarify why this attitude is unacceptable. In case the problem was not solved, I will deprive the person of benefits to make him/her understand what it is like to feel discriminated against.
Grossman, J. L. (2016). Expanding the core: Pregnancy Discrimination Law as It approaches full term. Idaho Literature Review, 52(1), 825-866.
Neumark, D., & Button, P. (2014). Did Age Discrimination protections help older workers weather the great recession? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 33(3), 566-601.
Thompson, A. E. (2015). The Americans with Disabilities Act. Jama, 313(22), 2296-2296.