ADP WINTER, 2014 | Vol. 23 No. 3                 
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» Automating Time and Attendance
» Mobile Management
» ADP Recognition
Equal Employment Opportunity Laws
» Understanding E-Verify
» Increase Employee Engagement
» Starting Social Media
» Globally Mobile Workforce
» Cost-effective Hiring Process
» Midsized Business Challenges
» Connect With Users of ADP Solutions
» Reduce Your Compliance Workload

Stay smart about Equal Employment Opportunity laws

Ouch! Over the 12 months preceding August of 2012, roughly a third of U.S. companies experienced unintended expenses due to noncompliance with government regulations. In the case of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws, the hurt goes beyond dollar costs. Your organization's reputation with customers, potential new hires, and the community could be seriously affected.

Roughly a third of U.S. companies experienced unintended expenses related to noncompliance. Source: ADP Research Institute survey covering the period between July 2012 - July 2013.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has jurisdiction over any business with at least 15 employees. You can help avoid EEO problems by following good practices in the following areas:


  • Make sure your postings don't discriminate on the basis of age, gender, ethnicity, or any other protected category. If it's not relevant to the job, don't include it.
  • Recruit openly, and not exclusively from specific applicant pools.
  • Let all apply, unless they are not legally eligible to work (e.g., too young).
  • Only ask questions that are relevant to the job. Don't request personal information such as age, family status, political affiliations, or participation in groups or organizations.
  • Be prepared for special-needs candidates. As long as it doesn't create an undue financial burden, the EEOC requires certain accommodations for special-needs recruits. For example, you may be asked to provide a sign-language interpreter for hearing-impaired candidates.

On the job

  • As much as possible, accommodate cultural and religious needs. This includes flexibility on certain holidays and with your company's dress code, if applicable.
  • Promotions, layoffs, project assignments, discipline, and terminations must be administered equally to employees, no matter their race, age, gender, nationality, religion, disability, or other genetic or cultural factor.
  • Pay should be based on merit and experience. Benefits offerings should be the same for all employees within a specific group and not more or less generous based on gender or age.
  • Establish company policies about fairness in the workplace, and make the policies available in writing to your entire workforce.
  • Periodic training with supervisors and managers can help keep the rules top of mind with those who are at the greatest risk of violating EEO regulations.

For further information, the federal law that applies most frequently in EEO complaints and lawsuits is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This article was condensed from an in-depth write-up in ADP's Bottom Line magazine, offering expert insight into today's most pressing HR management and compliance challenges. Visit the Bottom Line home page to download the current and archived issues.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: ADP publishes the ADP Advisor free of charge to its clients. It is accepted with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the business of rendering legal or accounting services. If legal, tax, accounting, or other professional assistance is required, the services of an attorney or a certified public accountant should be sought.