Chapter Summary

3.1  Identify the four components of the OUCH test by describing when it is useful in an organizational setting.

The OUCH test is a rule of thumb you should use whenever you are contemplating any employment action. You use it to maintain equity for all of your employees or applicants. OUCH is an acronym that stands for Objective, Uniform in application, Consistent in effect, and Has job relatedness. An employment action should generally be objective instead of subjective; we should apply all employment tests the same way, every time, with everyone, to the best of our ability; the employment action should not have an inconsistent effect on any protected groups; and the test must be directly related to the job to which we are applying it.

3.2  Discuss the major equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws specifying the groups of people each law protects.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 requires that women be paid equal to men if they are doing the same work.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, in all areas of the employment relationship.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits age discrimination against people 40 years of age or older, and it restricts mandatory retirement.

The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 prohibits discrimination against Vietnam veterans by all employers with federal contracts or subcontracts of $100,000 or more. It also requires that affirmative action be taken.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prohibits discrimination against women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, and it treats such discrimination as unlawful sex discrimination.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to allow disabled employees to work.

The Civil Rights Act of 1991 strengthened civil rights by providing for possible compensatory and punitive damages for discrimination.

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) ensures the civilian reemployment rights of military members who were called away from their regular (nonmilitary) jobs by U.S. government orders.

The Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004 amends USERRA to extend health care coverage while away on duty, and it requires employers to post a notice of benefits, duties, and rights of reemployment.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits the use of genetic information in employment, prohibits intentional acquisition of the same, and imposes confidentiality requirements.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 amends the 1964 CRA to extend the period of time in which an employee is allowed to file a lawsuit over pay discrimination.

3.3  Briefly discuss the major functions of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC is a federal agency that investigates complaints of illegal discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information.

The EEOC has three significant functions: investigating and resolving discrimination complaints through either conciliation or litigation, gathering and compiling statistical information on such complaints, and running education and outreach programs on what constitutes illegal discrimination.

3.4  Compare the two primary types of sexual harassment.

Quid pro quo harassment occurs when some type of benefit or punishment is made contingent upon the employee submitting to sexual advances. In other words, if you do something for me, I will do something for you, or conversely, if you refuse to do something for me, I will harm you.

Hostile work environment harassment occurs when someone’s behavior at work creates an environment that is sexual in nature and makes it difficult for someone of a particular sex to work in that environment. Hostile environment sexual harassment happens when a “reasonable person” would determine that the environment went beyond normal human interactions and the jokes and kidding that go with those interactions and rose to the level that such a reasonable person would consider the act or acts to be both harassing and sexual in nature.

3.5  Briefly discuss the employer’s requirements concerning avoidance of religious discrimination in the workplace.

Religion is one of the identified protected classes in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. As such, we can’t use it as a factor in making “any employment decision” with our employees. Issues such as standards of dress, time off for religious holidays, adherence to strongly held religious beliefs, and other questions of religious freedom should be accommodated to the best of our ability to avoid inadvertent violation of the law.