Equal employment opportunity is one of the main aspects of United States ethics. The protection of this practice is highly important to sustain the values the country expresses (Gostin, 2015). This function is performed by the United States Employment Commission also known as EEOC. Their efforts prevent discrimination against applicants and employees based on their race, religion, sex, nationality, age, or disability.
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One of the recent examples of their activity is a lawsuit filed against ABM Aviation for discrimination against an employee with a disability. This paper will provide an overview of the lawsuit, functions of the EEOC, its role in the lawsuit, comparison of the press release and news about the lawsuit, possible promotion of social change due to the lawsuit, as well as the strategies I would use if I was a manager in ABM Aviation.
The Compliance Issue
The issue in the presented lawsuit concerns discrimination based on the disability of an employee. The employee in question was working for ABM Aviation, a company that is focused on the service and cleaning of aircraft at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The employment of the client was terminated after she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and acute myeloid leukemia.
This action violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, and if the alleged conduct proves to be true, ABM Aviation will be required to provide back pay, compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages and injunctive relief to prevent further discrimination. The described conduct is a clear violation of the federal law, and it is likely that the lawsuit will succeed (“ABM Aviation sued,” 2018; Santuzzi, Waltz, Finkelstein, & Rupp, 2014).
Functions of the EEOC
The main function of the organization is the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws in the employment field. Their actions apply to all companies that employ more than 20 people. The EEOC investigates whether the charges of discrimination are covered by the law. Also, they provide a series of education services, technical assistance programs, and outreach programs that let companies prevent cases of discrimination through awareness and assistance. Federal agencies may require guidance and leadership from the EEOC to make sure that all aspects of the equal employment opportunity act are followed correctly.
They operate in every state of the United States, and their headquarters are located in Washington, D.C. The role of EEOC, in this case, is in filing the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. They also provide representation for the client in the form of a regional attorney (“About the EEOC,” 2018).
Does the Lawsuit Promote Social Change?
It is unlikely that this lawsuit promotes social change. It could be argued that the conduct allegedly performed by ABM Aviation is not the norm as specific laws exist to prevent it. No company in the United States is allowed to break federal laws related to equal opportunity for employment. Unfortunately, companies often disregard the law to presumably reach higher profits. However, every such case puts a company in jeopardy as it brings expensive lawsuits and a lot of negative attention.
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Perhaps it could be argued that the lawsuit presented in the press release would create or strengthen the precedent and even prevent further discrimination if it receives more attention. A large and successful lawsuit would show that discrimination is not permitted and is punished. If this is the outcome of this lawsuit, it could be seen as a promotion of social change, but it does not cover any ground that has not been explored before and can be seen as a lawsuit based on the success of similar cases in the past (Jr, Connolly, & Feinstein, 2017).
Comparison of the Press Release and the News Item
The press release issued by EEOC is brief but contains all the information relevant to the court case. The first section is dedicated to the discrimination issue that the client encountered, a description of her disability, and a statement that a lawsuit was filed against ABM Aviation as a result. The description of the case is presented in the second section of the press release. It also contains information about the law violated by the company and the goal of the lawsuit. The third section presents comments from the regional attorney of EEOC, Antonette Sewell on the actions of ABM Aviation, as well as the statement on the EEOC’s position in this case. The fourth and last section provides commentary from the district director of EEOC on the mission of the organization (“ABM Aviation sued,” 2018).
The only news article on this lawsuit available at the time of writing was published on a news website titled Legal NewsLine. The article on this case is just as brief as the press release and provides almost the same information. All the comments presented in the press release are left intact. However, the main difference is that less information about the case is present in the article. The second section is almost completely omitted. A short introductory section was added in the beginning by the writer, but the majority of the article is based on the press release (Iandolo, 2018).
Strategies I Would Implement as a Manager
As a manager of ABM Aviation, I would make sure to prevent any cases of discrimination against both employees and applicants. To make sure that nobody in the organization is ignorant of the federal laws of the United States on the subject of equal employment opportunity, I would preemptively ask for guidance and technical assistance from the EEOC. I would take the same actions if the lawsuit had already been filed. Training and education of employees and management staff should be performed in full. It should become a company’s policy that no discrimination would be permitted with zero tolerance for perpetrators (Barak, 2016).
The United States prides itself on the values that it established. Therefore, these values should be enforced and protected by federal agencies. EEOC is one such agency, and its actions allow the majority of employees who were discriminated against to receive compensation through lawsuits. However, its actions do not just cover the punitive form of enforcement but also preventative initiatives such as education, training, and guidance for companies.
The case against ABM Aviation is a prime example of the actions of the EEOC. An employee that was allegedly discriminated against based on her disability received legal representation and professional assistance in court. Without an agency like the EEOC, this process would be much more difficult for regular people. Even if their cases were completely legitimate, a company may have highly skilled lawyers and connections that would make the case almost impossible to win. However, with the assistance of the EEOC, anyone who was discriminated against in the United States can have equal representation in the court of law. This allows the values of the country to be protected.
ABM Aviation sued by EEOC for disability discrimination. (2018). Web.
About the EEOC: Overview. (2018). Web.
Barak, M. E. M. (2016). Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace. New York, NY: SAGE Publications.
Gostin, L. O. (2015). The Americans with disabilities act at 25: The highest expression of American values. JAMA, 313(22), 2231–2235.
Iandolo, M. (2018). EEOC: Aviation cleaning service terminated employee because of leukemia. Web.
Jr, W. B. C., Connolly, M. J., & Feinstein, J. (2017). A practical guide to equal employment opportunity. New York, NY: Law Journal Press.
Santuzzi, A. M., Waltz, P. R., Finkelstein, L. M., & Rupp, D. E. (2014). Invisible disabilities: Unique challenges for employees and organizations. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 7(2), 204–219.