The primary reason for the existence of EEOC is to enact legislation against discrimination in places of work. Employees can be discriminated based on sex, color, race, national origin, pregnancy, disability, age, or other essential factors. Reports also indicate that EEOC safeguards workers from retaliation by their bosses for bringing to public discrimination, initiating discrimination litigation, or being involved in the investigation against discrimination (US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2019). Typically, EEOC commences by exploring purported charges in an accurate and unbiased manner. After that, based on the information they obtained, they establish whether discrimination or indeed occurred or not and whether litigation is required or not. More importantly, EEOC also offers programs to bar discrimination within the place of work before its occurrence. Typically, they provide education, outreach, as well as technical help programs. Therefore, in the present paper, I will explore the latest lawsuit against O'Reilly Automotive Stores.
Compliance issue in the Lawsuit
In this article, the O'Reilly Company went against federal regulations by exposing female workers to sexual harassment. The company also retaliated against one of the female workers, thus forcing her to resign. The litigation initiated by EEOC revealed that Tracy Leonard Clark, the supervisor of the said company together with other several male workers, exposed female workers at O'Reilly Stores in Orland to unfavorable working conditions by putting across sexually instigated comments such as demanding oral sex from female workers (US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2019). The charges also revealed that the female workers were sexually handled by being forced to position themselves in the table and brushed against their buttocks an aggressive way. These actions compelled women to raise complaints to corporate headquarters and store managers. Nonetheless, when interviewing one female worker regarding the alleged sexual abuse, the managers at O'Reilly sarcastically mocked her. Similarly, Clark, together with other managers, retailed against these female workers for raising the alarm regarding sexual harassment (US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2019). Further, abusive actions and retaliation against these women compelled one of the female employees to quit. Rather than stopping the alleged behavior, the O'Reilly ignored the complaints raised by the victims and supported this malicious act and even punished the victims who brought the issue to the public.
Functions of EEOC
The EEOC rules and regulations that makes its unlawful to victimize employees or job applicants due to their skin color, race, sex, gender, physical challenges, as well as, genetic information (Kmec & Skaggs, 2014). Secondly, it offers guidance and leadership to federal agencies on various aspects regarding the equal employment opportunity initiatives that the federal government undertakes. In particular, it ensures that departments and governmental agencies adhere to EEOC regulations, technically supports governmental agencies in arbitrating EEO complaints, monitors and assess employment initiatives of the federal government (Kmec & Skaggs, 2014). Moreover, it designs and distributes educational materials, trains stakeholders, and offers support and guidance to the federal administrative on education. Lastly, it ensures that workers feel safe and safeguarded while working within a particular organization.
The Role of EEOC in this Lawsuit
The primary role that EEOC plays in this lawsuit is to prevent sexual discrimination from further occurring within the company. Similarly, according to EEOC, female employees were who were experiencing sexual harassment and retaliation by helping them to initiate litigation against O' Reilly Automotive Stores so that they can be compensated for enduring abusive sexual behaviors and some possibly quitting their jobs. This will assist O' Reilly Automotive Stores change and help enact new legislation and ways to eradicate sexual harassment and retaliation within the workplace. EEOC also ruled that workers should not have to select between enduring humiliating sexual conducts or resign from their jobs. As a result, EEOC sought to eradicate practices that make sexual harassment and retaliation possible.
Whether the Litigation Promotes Social Change or Not
The present lawsuit stimulates a social change since it is a notable example of how a business can lose money and competent employees by allowing and promoting sexual harassment and retaliation within the place of work. The lawsuit should be a significant example to organizations that numerous individuals could be possibly waiting for them to violate their rules and regulations in place to eradicate sexual harassment and retaliation. The lawsuit is also a lesson to some organizations or businesses because it informs such entities that workers are safeguarded by a group that will enthusiastically support them to fight against sexual harassment and retaliation. Further, the lawsuit will provide individuals and organizations that were not aware of EEOC with an opportunity to understand that they have a strong body to lean on when they experience challenges of this nature. Although any lawsuit can promote social change, such a change will be temporary. Once something more serious occurs, everyone takes responsibility and attempts to follow the most appropriate and right channel to do things. However, once such an issue passes, everything seems to normalize, and almost everyone seems to forget the primary reason for implementing such a minor change.
Differences between EEOC Press Release and News Item
The press release by the EEOC was direct and accurately described the statements and experiences of female employees. For instance, according to the EEOC, female workers were sexually abused by store managers, corporate headquarters, and Clerk. When questioning a female worker about the harassment, O'Reilly manager mocked her and Clark together with other managers hit back at female workers for raising their complaints about the discrimination (US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2019). Intuitively, the EEOC ensured that it detailed every part of the lawsuit to describe precisely what transpired. Indeed, no switch in the story was witnessed as everything that EEOC related in the article were the exact things that occurred. Nonetheless, reading the article and listening to the news can provide the audience with entirely different views. A person reading the article can perceive it as another case that involves some misplaced workers while another person who watches the news may perceive it as persons who have endured adverse impacts of sexual abuse. Nonetheless, when watched on the story, the issue will be more significant than what people expect, and this can account for the significant difference between the media and articles.
Strategies for Future Compliance and Inclusion
As senior president or owner of the company, I would enact stringent policy against sexual harassment to ensure that all the employees, regardless of their gender, feel safe within the workplace. Secondly, I will ensure that all supervisors and managers within the organization are trained and clearly understand state and federal laws together with the EEOC regulations. Further, I will ensure that the employees of O' Reilly Automotive Stores clearly understand all the company policies. In particular, I will ensure that these employees understand persons they can communicate with alternate managers they can seek assistance without victimization. More importantly, I will ensure that managers comprise of females and males to ensure that workers can feel raising their complaints they have within the workplace. Intuitively, this will ensure that they feel safe and that the working environment is favorable for them.
EEOC exists to assist workers and safeguard them against discrimination by employers. It protects not only federal workers but also ordinary citizens from discriminating, dishonest, and unethical employers. In their absence, organizations could perpetuate numerous atrocities to their employees.
US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2019, May 9). EEOC Sues O'Reilly Automotive Stores for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation. Retrieved May 21, 2019, from https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/5-9-19b.cfm
Kmec, J. A., & Skaggs, S. L. (2014). The "State" of equal employment opportunity law and managerial gender diversity. Social Problems, 61(4), 530-558. doi:10.1525/sp.2014.12319
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